Prashant's Weblog
Random Brain "Droppings" of yet another software engineer

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Google's My search History - another geek's toy or Invasion of privacy

I happened to notice the new "sign in" link on the right hand corner of google search home page only today. As usual,was curious to know what was this all about. It turned out to be another new feature, which Google is experimenting with, called "My search History". This
feature is aimed at enabling a user to see a detail view of the his/her past search activity.

It all starts with the login, where I need to key in my credentials like username and password. I can also specify whether my login credentials needs to be saved so that I need not log in again. To do this I can check the "Remember me on this computer" check box. As soon as I log in, the process of my history collection is started by default. I can stop this by hitting the "Pause" option.

At a first glance, I believe it is one more great geek toy. It can customize the search results to reeflect my specific interests , but I am still a bit skeptical about it. I am not at all amused by the fact that Google can track as to what I am searching on the web. Google can build database of user profiles based on their search patterns and target them with specific ads, even worse it could trade this information with others. Also if I am on a shared computer and I happen to goof up with signing in and signing off, I am at a pretty high risk of revealing more information about me, than I actually want.

So its "thumbs down" from me. Really cannot think of any good reason to use this feature.


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