Google and Privacy
Daniel Solove on Google and privacy:
A New York Times editorial observes:
At a North Carolina strangulation-murder trial this month, prosecutors announced an unusual piece of evidence: Google searches allegedly done by the defendant that included the words “neck” and “snap.” The data were taken from the defendant’s computer, prosecutors say. But it might have come directly from Google, which—unbeknownst to many users—keeps records of every search on its site, in ways that can be traced back to individuals.
This is an interesting fact—Google keeps records of every search in a way that can be traceable to individuals. The op-ed goes on to say:
The government can gain access to Google’s data storehouse simply by presenting a valid warrant or subpoena. . . .
Solove goes on to argue that if companies like Google want to collect people’s data (even if people are willing to supply it), the least they can do is fight for greater protections against government access to that data. While this won’t address all the problems, it would be a step forward to see companies like Google use their power to foster meaningful legislative change.
EDITED TO ADD (12/3): Here’s an op ed from The Boston Globe on the same topic.