Ask.com's privacy "eraser" misses a few spotshttp://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/12/11/askeraser/index.htmlProtests accompany Google's expansion of Street Viewhttp://www.iht.com/articles/2007/12/11/technology/street.phpGoogle Maps Street Viewhttp://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/Security Bites Podcasthttp://www.news.com/2030-11424-6052904.htmlSix Tips to Protect Your Search Privacyhttp://www.eff.org/wp/six-tips-protect-your-search-privacyMost people don't give much thought to typing terms into a search engine, but recently there has been increased anxiety among some users about what happens to these searches after they are completed. Of course, most major search engines generally keep track of search terms typed by users. Concern began to heighten after a study by the New York Times indicated that some queries conducted via AOL could be traced back to individuals. In response to this ongoing issue of online privacy, a number of companies have stepped up efforts to ensure that searches remain private. Ask.com unveiled their "AskEraser" this week, which essentially tells their search engine not to save any future queries. A number of privacy experts have responded positively to this latest development, though there have been skeptics as well. Larry Ponemon, chairman of the Ponemon Institute, noted, "My gut tells me that basically it is not going to be a competitive advantage. I think people will look at it and see it as a cool thing, and they may use it. But I don't think it will be a market differentiator." Beyond the business aspects of this new feature, privacy debates involving the information from other sites such as Facebook and Google's Street View will no doubt continue to be addressed by privacy groups, corporations, and the federal government.The first link will take users to an article about Ask.com's new privacy feature from this Tuesday's New York Times. The second link leads to a post from Salon's "Machinist" weblog, which offers a critical appraisal of this privacy feature. The third link leads to a piece from the International Herald Tribune on the privacy issues raised by Google's expansion of their "Street View" mapping application. Moving along, the fourth link leads to Google's "Street View" application. Here, visitors can take virtual walks through fifteen cities, including Boston, San Francisco, Detroit, and Providence. The fifth link whisks users away to CNET's "Security Bites" podcast site. Visitors to the site can listen to helpful podcasts on protecting computer data, battling botnets, and global cybercrime. Finally, the last link leads to six rather helpful hints on protecting search privacy, courtesy of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.


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