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Google and spyware makers back peddle on privacy

In the light of recent protests we have seen a flurry of announcements from the companies most keen to steal all our personal data, right down to our thoughts almost.

Washington Post reports:
Amid growing scrutiny from government regulators in the U.S and Europe, Google is amending its privacy practices and keeping the IP addresses of consumers who do searches on Google:

9 months now instead of 18 (which was down on forever previously).

Start anonymizing the data it collects from its Google Suggest feature within 24 hours. (After they've sold it to the marketers?)

"Google's Chrome is set up by default to collect all the keystrokes for 1 percent of computer users selected randomly, each day", admitted Jane Horvarth of Google and it also collects 1 percent of all the keystrokes typed into the Omnibox each day.

Nebuad to halt user tracking tests in light of protests
"The sense I get is the air is out of the tires as it relates to targeted advertising through deep-packet inspection," said Robb Topolski, a technology consultant. "The users have made it very clear that they don't want any part of ISP monitoring regimes that watch everything they do and say on the Internet."

Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, said that NebuAd "seriously underestimated the privacy concerns."

Google who's new spyware browser Chrome has raised privacy concerns on both sides of the Atlantic, said yesterday it was taking steps to mask the identities of people who use the tool.

The move comes as privacy advocates here and in Europe expressed concern that the browser had the potential to give Google a way to track even more of users' online behavior and create rich profiles of them. -

I think I used the term spyware when I originally heralded their browser, recording your keystrokes is about as bad as it gets. Google is leading the tech stocks in a downward readjustment.

As for the Goo-Yoo partnership - it may not be the wedding of the year.

Is the Justice Department preparing to challenge a high-profile advertising partnership between Google and Yahoo? 

Former Justice Department chief privacy officer Jane Horvath criticized the government subpoena in Gonzales v Google;(while she was with DOJ) and joined Google's legal team last August.

On Tuesday, Yahoo's director of global public affairs, Tracy Schmaler, confirmed news reports that the Justice Department is seeking advice from an outside consultant. The Justice Department, which has been reviewing the partnership for several weeks, hired Sanford M. Litvack, a veteran antitrust lawyer, to help assess the evidence gathered by its lawyers.

Perhaps Google would like to try a different approach which will work for both consumers and advertisers. I'm sure you have my number.

What price privacy?
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