Exploiting Customers?

A pair of articles in NY Times today regarding the release of user search queries from AOL earlier this week, and a dive into just how private your search queries are.

The first article, Your Life as an Open Book, explains just what search engines do store from you, how they do it, and why.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out, as a huge amount of search engine business relies on collecting personal data without making a big deal about it. This is the only way they can serve up personalized ads that are core to their business model. When the process is transparent and effortless, as it is today, people don’t seem to mind. If privacy issues grow within our culture, or laws are enacted, it could be an entirely new ballgame for search engines.

In the meantime, here are two articles for protecting your privacy online: How to Digitally Hide (Somewhat) in Plain Sight from the NY Times, and Protecting Yourself from Search Engines from Cnet.

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