“With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about.” - Eric Schmidt, Google CEO
Granted, this blog is hosted by Google. But I own the right to the domains www.catmanslitterbox.com, .org, .mobi, etc. So, if I had the time and really needed to, I could move off of Google.
Google tracks you. They make no secret of it. They store your searches and associate it with your IP address, and through various means, can even obtain your name, address, and phone number.
"Wow, MR. Smith, you sure do spend a lot of time online shopping for women's underwear. Does your wife know?", says the very polite FBI agent to the man shackled to his chair.
It is possible that Mr. Smith may have a legitimate reason for shopping for those racy undies, and even if he does, can that information be used against him? Say, if he's a pastor of a Bible thumping church for instance?
If you're worried about how much information is being stored about you, and your habits, give the search engine that does NOT store any information about you, or your searches a try. This search engine will even allow you to view most content via a built in proxy server.
You don't even have to actually visit the web page you'd like to view.
Visit www.startpage.com and get started.
I haven't mentioned this site before because, to be quite frank, at its beginning the searches were not very good. AltaVista performed better. Now, that is MY OPINION as a user, not as someone who conducted a thorough test.
It has improved tremendously, and so I'd like to point you all to it in case you haven't heard about it!