You Are What You Google

Kevin Bankston, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said Google is amassing data that could create some of the most detailed individual profiles ever devised.

“Your search history shows your associations, beliefs, perhaps your medical problems. The things you Google for define you,” Bankston said.

News.com: Google balances privacy, reach

The news article cited above was the reason why News.com got a samurai hack from Google. Jason Shellen made a good point: “there is a difference between public data and publicizing data.” But where is the fine line? Google is in the business of making data public, while news sources are in the business of publicizing them. But I think I understand why Google execs got upset with News.com. Although the data obtained about Eric Schmidt was indeed public, publicizing it made it exponentially easier to obtain. Just try googling Eric’s residence and you will soon lose interest and move on. Only people on a mission can google those detailed information. But now that hyperlinks are made (via blogs, thousands of news sources, etc…) it is now much easier to google Eric Schmidt’s personal information. I think News.com had a lapse in judgement here. They could’ve just used a generic person as example, or maybe Bill Gates. I don’t think Bill would mind people knowing what his 2005 net worth is, or where he lives. He’s got kick-ass security anyway. But then again, Google execs should loosen up. The article was not so “evil” after all. One blog commenter sums it up real good, “Google’s attack on CNET shows a weird denial of the privacy-deprived world that Google helps create.” So if you’re a high-profile personality, you just got to learn to live in the era of perfect search, total recall.