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Re: AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 03:26:19 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: Adam Fields <ip20398470293845 () aquick org>
Date: August 15, 2008 10:35:53 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Cc: ip <ip () v2 listbox com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re:     AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie

For IP, if you wish:

On Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 05:02:20PM -0400, David Farber wrote:
Based on my experience, it doesn't.  I created a web page (with no
incoming links), and had several people with Google Toolbar go read it.
The unique "word" on that page still does not show up in a search.

(I won't post the URL here because this list is probably archived on the
web, and that would provide an external pointer.)

It's been pretty well established several times that, at least in
isolated cases, urls entered into the Google Toolbar are not used to
key the index, and key engineers from Google have denied that this


However, those URLs are certainly sent to Google in some form, and
those logs are certainly retained. I don't believe that Google has
ever said that they won't use that data in the future.

It's important to note that they do keep those logs indefinitely, and
it's certainly feasible for them to go back and reprocess it at a
later date should they wish to. I don't think I've ever seen any
indication that they intend to, but it's really a very important
distinction. Reading their privacy policy and terms of service
assuming that they're only doing what they say they're doing (which is
how most people read them, I think) gives a very different picture
than assuming that they are doing or will do everything that they
don't explicitly deny (which is in fact the reality of their

                                - Adam

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