Is this a violation of privacy? March 11, 2002 2:02 PM   Subscribe

How do we feel about the real or imagined privacy violations involved in signing up for the google PageRank toolbar system? I find an old discussion here but the privacy issue really isn't discussed in detail. I seek the opinions of the learned.
posted by bingo to General Weblog-Related at 2:02 PM (5 comments total)

I dont think I am 'learned' on the subject of privacy. But as a lay user, I dont have strong feelings about the kind of data google is collecting. They are not trying to correlate it with your e-mail/user profile (like realnetworks or doubleclick tried to do). They are not doing it on the sly. They are simply collecting/sending your browsing habits that are probably being collected by many other websites (unless you have specifically disabled it). For all we know, those logs are probably not being properly mined either and are simply being deleted after every few months.

In any case, one always has the freedom of not enabling pagerank toolbar.
posted by justlooking at 5:36 PM on March 11, 2002

The link in this thread to the Berkman Center is right on point. They are having an ongoing series on this issue.
posted by anathema at 7:21 PM on March 11, 2002

I got the Google toolbar just this afternoon, and according to their privacy policy, the toolbar only sends only the URL of the website you're visiting in order to retrieve the pagerank, site info, related sites, etc. Basically, the toolbar gives you the information a regular Google search would give you.

I like the toolbar and I've kept the "advanced features" active for now to see how I like them. I can always turn it off later or uninstall the toolbar completely (though I don't foresee a need to).

I guess the real question is, "Do you trust Google?"
posted by pheideaux at 7:33 PM on March 11, 2002

pheideaux said: I guess the real question is, "Do you trust Google?"

The question is more complicated than that. It is "Do you trust Google and any company that might one day own Google and chose to ignore Google's privacy policy?"
posted by srboisvert at 4:29 PM on March 13, 2002

My brother-in-law is Google's lawyer. I trust 'em. :)
posted by beth at 9:35 PM on March 17, 2002

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