Google's Supposed Enhancements to Privacy are 'Totally Worthless'

Privacy blogger says company is deceiving us by saying it will keep search records for only nine months.

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Google got good play the other day for saying it would enhance privacy protections, reducing from 18 to nine months the time it would keep identifiable information on its users. But Chris Soghoian in his Surveillance State blog calls the announcement outright "deception" and says the new policy is "totally worthless."

Whew. No mincing words there.

He says Google is doing nothing appreciable by altering our unique Internet addresses, or IP addresses, in its records. That's because the company will still maintain cookies on our computers, which allow Google to track our searches and post relevant ads.

First, remember that Google will not delete or anonymize user cookies from the logs when it slightly smudges IP addresses after nine months. Second, remember that as long as you use a Google Web property at least once every two years, the company will maintain a unique identifiable cookie value within your Web browser.

Sounds like he has a point.