SMB Privacy and the Search Engines

Monday, August 13, 2007
Posted by Brawlin Melgar

by John Beagle

Search privacy is important because our search terms provide information regarding our private lives.

 

Its one thing for an SMB Employer to review employees work computers. Its quite another for search engines such as Google to store your SMB employees (users) 'Google searches'.

Then search engines like Google, can identify each employee and store that search query.

 

Your Search Data in the Competitions Hands

How secure is Google search query data? If its digital, its easy to steal. Would you like your competition to access your employee online searches? 

 

Would this not be comparable to 'corporate spying".

 

Search Engine Search Results (The Good and Bad)

While search engine search results have been used to convict hackers, murderer and terrorists, they also can provide information to divorce lawyers and employers.

 

Top Search Engines Changing Search Associating/Storage Policies

In the last few months privacy policies have been revised by with Google, Yahoo!, Ask.com and Microsoft (aka The Big 4). Each search engine is one-upping one another in protecting personal information.

 

According to a recent News.com privacy survey:

1. Ask.com was the best at protecting personal information - Only Ask.com said it would not record what users type into its search engine. Ask.com also said it did not engage in behavioral targeting, which refers to the practice of offering advertisements based on previous searches.

2. Google avoids behavioral targeting. Every 18 months it performs a partial anonymization of users' Internet Protocol addresses.