Internet privacy: a growing concern

Todd Vandenbark

Internet Privacy logoAccording to a recent article on SFGate, research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project has found that:

73 percent of users said they would not be OK with an online search engine keeping track of their queries even if the data provides personalized results in the future. And 68 percent said they were not OK with targeted advertising because they don’t want their online activities tracked and analyzed.

Google is the preferred search engine for most online searching, though people surveyed don’t want information about their searches tracked. Yet unless you take steps to make sure this information is not collected, Google tracks it. And its search algorithms that include this information are what provides users with  the results they like. In a sense, we want it both ways: quality search results and privacy protections.

This is an area ripe for research: if we could define and control what information search engines and other online service providers can collect, would end users’ satisfaction with search engines change?

What do you think? Tell us!