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Thread: A statute of limitations on internet stupidity?

  1. #1
    Hustle
    Join Date
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    A statute of limitations on internet stupidity?

    Remember that time you searched for goatse and your social security number in the same string?

    Now at least they won't know your IP address.

    Google to purge personal data from logs.

    In a significant change to company policy, Google announced late yesterday it will begin systematic purges of personally identifying data from its search logs at least 18 months after it's collected. The move could quash some consumers' -- and some governments' -- concerns about its intentions to harvest its now-colossal database of personal information.

    "We had previously kept the logs data for as long as it was useful," reads an FAQ about the policy change published by Google yesterday. "When we implement this policy change, we will continue to keep server log data so that we can improve Google's services and protect them from security and other abuses, but we will anonymize our server logs after 18-24 months, unless legally required to retain the data for longer."

    "Anonymization" in this case, according to Google, consists not of deleting files but of changing entries in records so that fields linking searches to IP addresses or to individuals become unusable.
    I had high hopes for this just from reading the headline, but it appears no one will be safe until the government forces google to allow users to de-link sites that reference real names.

  2. #2
    New Romantic
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    200 years, in the case of wanting to drill holes in your monitor.

  3. #3
    New Romantic
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    Google might not get away with 18-24 months in all countries, and probably not
    just de-linking logs and data. Over here, nobody can retain your personal information
    more than 6 months, if they had a right to it in the first place.

  4. #4
    Account closed How To Go
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linoleum
    200 years, in the case of wanting to drill holes in your monitor.
    LCD monitor; key point.

  5. #5
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilIdler
    Google might not get away with 18-24 months in all countries, and probably not
    just de-linking logs and data. Over here, nobody can retain your personal information
    more than 6 months, if they had a right to it in the first place.
    Of course, the government can exempt themselves from those requirements. I see a bizarro future where under the likes of the Data Protection Act, Google has to expire their own data for their own use, but maintain in intact for a much longer period of time to satisfy potential governmental claim on the information.

  6. #6
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilIdler
    Google might not get away with 18-24 months in all countries, and probably not
    just de-linking logs and data. Over here, nobody can retain your personal information
    more than 6 months, if they had a right to it in the first place.
    Google doesn't have to worry about your governments position on the matter as long as it's servers reside in California.

  7. #7
    Social Worker
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    I think search history should be saved and archived somehow, think of it as the greatist genealogical and historical tool of our time. Wouldn't you like to know what things people would have been "searching" for in the old west or in ancient china?

    My grandfather died when I was five and I'd love to have a list of what kinds of news events he was interested in, what kind of porno he liked, what books he would have liked to buy and so much other stuff that now is available in search.

    Are there any tools that allow you to archive your own searches for the long term? I'm not doing anything that I expect will send me to the federal pen so I'm not too worried about keeping it around.

  8. #8
    New Romantic
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    Quote Originally Posted by yurislave
    My grandfather died when I was five and I'd love to have a list of what kinds of news events he was interested in, what kind of porno he liked, what books he would have liked to buy and so much other stuff that now is available in search.
    I just don't know. Best-case, yes, it'd definitely be pretty interesting. Most-case, probably just boring.

    But worst-case? Ignorance is bliss.

  9. #9
    Social Worker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drastic
    I just don't know. Best-case, yes, it'd definitely be pretty interesting. Most-case, probably just boring.

    But worst-case? Ignorance is bliss.

    You're probably right, we romanticise the past. People 50 years ago were probably thinking about the same things but there was no place they could go to find information on their sick desires and they had to just keep them to themselves or get beaten to a pulp.

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