By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Not being evil

Good for Google, which is living up to its “Don’t Be Evil” slogan by refusing to go along with the Justice Department’s anti-pornography crusade. Supposedly the government is not looking for personal data, which is why Yahoo, AOL and MSN were willing to play along. But this is a bedrock liberty issue, and Google shouldn’t retreat.

Still, this serves as a reminder of the kinds of data Google and other Internet services keep on all of us. It’s not easy to link the data to any one individual, but it can be done, as I reported a year ago. As Kevin Bankston, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says:

The only way Google can reasonably protect the privacy of its users from such legal demands now and in the future is to stop collecting so much information about its users, delete information that it does collect as soon as possible, and take real steps to minimize how much of the information it collects is traceable back to individual Google users. If Google continues to gather and keep so much information about its users, government and private attorneys will continue to try and get it. has posted some advice on how to keep your private data private.

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1 Comment

  1. The Emerson Avenger

    Private data is not private from Google nor God. . .

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