Thursday, January 27, 2005

Google, not so warm and fuzzy

I started using Google sometime in 2000, and after that I've never stopped using it. Till today. For the first time in about five years I'm actually considering switching to another search engine. I even tried out Teoma.

This superb article is what prompted all of this. Dan Kennedy writes:
IS THERE A company anywhere within these United States with a better public image than Google has? We love it. We need it. We use it — more than 200 million times a day, by some accounts. The unofficial slogan — "Don’t Be Evil" — epitomizes everything we want in a business relationship. And more often than not, Google lives up to those words.
Yeah, I always felt like Google was somehow different from the other search engines and other companies. But now, maybe not. Here's more from the article:
But there is another side to Google, and it’s one that the company would just as soon you not think about. It’s what happens each and every time you look up a piece of information...

Or you’re seeking information on how to grow your own marijuana. Who knows? Google knows. According to Lauren Weinstein, an Internet activist and privacy expert based in Southern California, Google keeps track of every search that’s made, as well as the Internet location of the computer from which the search is taking place — and then it stores that information for possible future use. Moreover, he says, it would not be terribly difficult to trace those searches to the person who made them. That’s you and me.

Lauren Weinstein's mentioned this first on his blog and it's another blog I'm probably going to visit from time to time. I've also always ignored Google Watch till now, but maybe I'll pay a little more attention.

It's not like I won't use Google but it's just that I'm not feeling so warm and fuzzy anymore.

-- Updated at 16:30 --

I found Scroogle from Google Watch. They created a search that scrapes the Google search and gives you the results. Think I'm going to try Scroogle Scraper for now. There's more information about scraping here.


At 4:36 pm, Blogger Percy said...

I'm posting a comment on my own blog. How desperate can you get? Just realised after updating the post that this blog is hosted by a company that is owned by Google. Hmm.


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