Search Engines & Perception of Privacy

C/Net News.com is running a special report on search engines and privacy, notably the improvements that have been made.

It would be more accurate, however, to talk about the perception of privacy. Search engines save information related to our search behavior (cookies etc.) for some 13-to-18 months, which makes the notion of privacy a bit of an oxymoron. That’s long enough for them to have their way with our information.

The bottom line is that by holding onto user data, search engines can better target advertising, helping them monetize their services better. Concerns about consumer privacy are just spin!

As an aside: Ask.com is ranked as the search engine with best privacy policy since it allows people to erase their search history. Not so fast, say Danny Sullivan and points out that Ask.comis yet to launch Ask Eraser, its much touted privacy protection feature. It is at “press release stage.”

Related: Can privacy be a premium service?

  • Category: Web