Let Us Pull

Of course everybody geeky enough and who cares enough about privacy concerns (related to both government and corporate breaches thereof) has been following the Google story of the feds asking for their logs. I've been in an extended discussion with a friend about that, about Google's ethics, and about what most people do or don't want from or know about or believe about Google and privacy and security.

He just pointed me to a blog that pointed to a story in the Register that reports that 77% of Google users don't know that Google "records personal data."

In this discourse i think a lot depends on the meaning of "personal data." To be fair, the quote above is from the headline, but the actual article, written by the every-snarky but tech-savvy Andrew Orlowski, uses the phrase "Google records and stores information that may identify them" (emphasis mine). Recording an ip address and a history of searches isn't neccesarily going to lead to a person, as in a name, and an address to send the stormtroopers to. you'd need the cooperation of someone's ISP to physically find them; and with dynamic IPs, which is how most people get online, i think, it might be hard for even an ISP to say which of their subscribers did what when.

Bad news for homeland security, better news for google and the datamining industry, who can say 'we don't really have data that's THAT personal.'