As per a new poll, over three quarters of web surfers aren’t aware of the fact that Google records and stores information that may recognize them.
During the weekend the phone poll was conducted by the Ponemon Institute in the wake of the DoJ subpoenas last week, and sampled over a thousand internet users.
It’s a pretty extraordinary statistic, and suggests that the battle for internet privacy is far from over and indeed, may hardly even have started.
Google maintains a lifetime cookie that expires in 2038, and records the user’s IP address. But more recently it has begun to incorporate services which record the user’s personal search history, email, shopping habits, and social contacts. After initially promising not to tie its email service to its search service, Google went ahead and opted its users in anyway. It’s all part of CEO Eric Schmidt’s promise to create a “Google that knows more about you.”
The mystery for Google now is does it come clean with the data it stores about users, or does it simply hope that the majority of users don’t care? In the survey, 56 per cent of users said that Google should not turn over information to the government, and only 14 per cent were happy for Google to turn over information even in criminal cases.