It’s All About Privacy

Major corporations like Apple and Google are no strangers to legal difficulties; the search giant, for instance, is currently facing legal battles on a variety of fronts all over the world. Recently, executives from these two companies, as well as those representing social networking site Facebook, were grilled by US congressmen about privacy policies.

Data courtesy of two British researchers exposed Apple for concealing an unencrypted file that contained thousands of location data entries going back for almost one year. Apple denied that it was tracking its users, but it is a difficult point to argue when you have reams of consumer information in unsecure files. Facebook was criticized for leaking the personal information of about 100,000 users to marketers and advertisers. Both Google and Apple find themselves having to answer for location-based data tracking.

Privacy struggles are not new, but they are demanding increasing attention. Blekko, the anti-search engine search engine, has proactively instituted a new data retention policy. Under the policy, personal information, including IP addresses, will be retained for 48 hours or less. Blekko has also enacted the following changes:

  • Searchers will, in many instances, be directed to HTTPS websites for greater security.
  • The addition of SuperPrivacy and NoAds opt-out privacy settings. Users can reduce keyword logging and ads.

Blekko’s CTO, Greg Lindahl says, “Search engines know too much about their users. Our goal at Blekko is to find a balance between retaining information to improve our search engine, and not retaining information that a user prefers to keep private.” And certainly not keeping that information in an unencrypted file for a year

Leave a Comment