2006 The Year the Privacy Illusion was Shattered


If you're even the least bit internet savvy, chances are you realized the more you live, work, and play online the less real privacy you actually have. However if their is a silver lining to the DOJ taking interest in search data it's that John Q. Public is finally starting to get it too. CNet today published a series of interviews comparing the policies of different search engines. Here's what Google had to say:

Given a list of search terms, can you produce a list of people who searched for that term, identified by IP address and/or cookie value?
Langdon: Yes. We can associate search terms with IP addresses and cookies, but not with users' names unless they are registered with Google.

The article also provides answers to an identical set of questions from Yahoo, MSN, and AOL. Gary Price also points to some discoveries about sending SMS messages with the new Google Toolbar

If you send text through SMS using Send To feature of the Google Toolbar, Google logs the number and carrier the message is sent to, and in some cases may record the text sent for debugging purposes.

Have you accepted that privacy is an illusion or are you taking steps to protect yourself? How about your friends, family and colleagues, are they up to speed, and if not are you sharing?

Me I'm wondering where I can get a list of high paying privacy and personal online security related keywords, heh ...