You Are Not Invisible Online

If you have used Google recently, you might have noticed an
alert-message that their privacy policy is changing.  The new policy will
take effect March 1st and basically consolidates the 60+ policies
that currently govern all the Google services into a single statement.
All Google users should take a moment to look over the new terms:  New Google Privacy Policy

While the new privacy policy will consolidate more personal
information about users, most people don’t realize how much was already being
gathered.  When you perform a Google search, that request is stored in a
server log that includes personally identifiable information.  This record
usually combines what you searched for and when you searched for it with your
IP address and a cookie that uniquely identifies your computer.  The
personally identifiable data is eventually “made anonymous” according
to Google
, but your IP address is connected to your search request for 9
months and the cookie on your computer for 18 months.

Google keeps these logs for analysis to better understand
search patterns.  The goal is to hopefully improve your search results,
present advertising that is genuinely relevant, and develop new innovations for
their products.  This is not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing, but
it is a fact of our digital world.  Everyone should be aware that almost
nothing we do online is anonymous.

–RF

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