free html hit counter And Google Knows... | John Battelle's Search Blog

And Google Knows…

By - September 08, 2008

….that what it knows is scary. Hence, this move. From the post on the Google Blog:



Today, we’re announcing a new logs retention policy: we’ll anonymize IP addresses on our server logs after 9 months. We’re significantly shortening our previous 18-month retention policy to address regulatory concerns and to take another step to improve privacy for our users.

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5 thoughts on “And Google Knows…

  1. JG says:

    Why do they need to wait 9 months to anonymize? If the issue is just about being able to detect patterns in the data, can’t they anonymize immediately? Naturally all the same caveats apply as with the AOL search data release — it might still be possible to infer who is doing the searching, based on the content of the queries.

    But in terms of anonymizing.. can’t they do that immediately? Or, like, after 3 days? Why 9 months?

  2. nmw says:

    I don’t care whether they supposedly anonymize after 9 months or 9 years or 9 seconds — I don’t use Google personal tracking sevices (such as GMail or iGoogle, etc.) anyways (and I also try to avoid websites that incorporate Google advertising like the plague).

    ;D nmw

  3. nebby says:

    It is about time! Is 9 months enough time for google to aquire the tracking info they need to track search patterns?

  4. nmw says:

    I think they can gather all the information they want to gather in a millisecond. The point is not how long they keep it, but that they’re tracking you at all.

    Of course only Google fanboys are affected, because normal people would not be so naive to think that they’re not selling it to the highest bidders (which is, after all, Google’s business model) — and IMHO the highest bidder is probably not the kind of “partner” you might want to expose your private information to.

    And what about Google? To see a recent analysis of Google’s (lack of) business ethics, see the comments/replies to Joe Nocera’s blog post titled “Is It Time To Break Up Google?” http://executivesuite.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/12/is-it-time-to-break-up-google/ (note that Mr. Nocera has also “uncovered” a case in which Google is basically practicing extortion [*] — and the story appeared in the New York Times late last week).

    [*] see http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=extortion