By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. “vision statement” shows the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people’s activities?
Should it tap more of what it knows about Gmail users? Should it build a vast “trading platform” for buying and selling Web data? Should it let people pay to not see any ads at all?
These and other ideas big and small—the third one was listed under “wacky”—are discussed in the document, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and compiled in late 2008 by Aitan Weinberg, now a senior product manager for interest-based advertising. Along with interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, the vision statement offers a candid, introspective look at Google’s fight to remain at the vanguard of the information economy.
Google is pushing into uncharted privacy territory for the company. Until recently, it refrained from aggressively cashing in on its own data about Internet users, fearing a backlash. But the rapid emergence of scrappy rivals who track people’s online activities and sell that data, along with Facebook Inc.’s growth, is forcing a shift.
Read the rest via Google Agonizes on Privacy as Advertising World Vaults Ahead – WSJ.com.
Privacy is dead, live with it.
Want privacy with regards to your internet searches? Consider checking out Ixquick, claiming to be the only metasearch engine that does not store your personal data. That’s not all. It claims to be the worlds most powerful metasearch engine and search results will be more comprehensive and accurate than other search engines.
As a metasearch engine it uses the results of several other search engines:
While I am happy with the meta search capabilities, I have at times been less impressed with the fact that I did not see an immediate option to go over all search hits for instance by search engine. Ixquick makes a relevant selection for you. At the same time, when you are in a hurry it can be very refreshing to not have to go through all the clutter. There are options of web, phone, video and picture searches and it allows for boolean search.
|A Ixquick result is awarded one star () for every search engine that chooses it as one of the ten best results for your search. So a five star () result means that five search engines agreed on the result.
|This is significant because search engines choose results in different ways, and each approach works well in some cases and poorly in others. A result with many stars was chosen for many different reasons, and is a consensus choice of many search engines.
|Also, while irrelevant Web pages can be “optimized” to fool a single search engine’s algorithm, it is much harder for a page to fool all the search engines.
Why not try it out yourself?
If you liked what you saw, you can opt to download the Ixquick toolbar for IE and Firefox. There is a deskbar available for Windows computers. As a search engine or even metasearch engine this is not my favorite in terms of results but it is very convenient for those times you may want or need to protect your privacy when searching. I have been using this tool for a few years now have found it at times very helpful and convenient.
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When you surf the net, and visit a website, there are a number of trackers that are keeping an eye on your behaviour. This is how for instance Google or Statcounter are able to create profiles of visitors. Firefox now has a plugin that prevents that and protects the privacy of users. The Ghostery plugin has been a useful addon to Firefox and recently version 2.0 was made available, which encompasses TrackerBlock. I am really happy with its smooth performance. Besides blocking 'web bugs' Ghostery also blocks advertisements, widgets and other trackers.
The release of TrackerBlock another step in obtaining a collection of tool to protect your privacy and manage your relation with Third Party Advertisers, Behavioral Targeters and web analytics.
Or in the words of the site
"Ghostery alerts you about the web bugs, ad networks and widgets on every page on the web.
Web bugs are hidden scripts that track your behavior and are used by the sites you visit to understand their own audience."
Ghostery 2.0 is can be downloaded at Mozilla Addons as well.
Posted via email from John Dierckx