Watched the CNBC program. First quarter is pretty uninteresting fluff on how great Google is.
Second quarter, the only compelling "point" made is that search data *may* not be "really anonymous" and this assertion was based on a well-known AOL data release *mistake* that was poorly handled. That release included unique ID numbers for users that, yes, allowed searches to be *associated* with a single user, and thus in some (few) cases actually associated back with a person's unique identify... *when they searched for their own name and/or address or other personally identifiable info*.
Now get this: most of what people do online is unencrypted, so really almost anyone could be listening. It doesn't take Google tracking your data for it to get in the hands of the government, or anyone else who might want to watch.
But it's true, I have no proof that Google is doing a better job anonymizing their search results than AOL. I do trust
them to do a better job, given their company history and intelligence (they do make mistakes, but they usually own up to them - see recent wifi data collection scandal). Let's not forget, too, that Google *voluntarily* introduced an 18 month anonymizing data policy, which other search engines then adopted, and then they reduced it to 9 months a year or so later (admittedly they weren't too happy about the reduction from 18 to 9 months): http://bits.blogs.ny...ention-policy-again/
Third quarter, some more fluff, some speculation and fearmongering.
Fourth quarter, not much more.
I didn't find the bit where they say they're selling data to other companies, but if it's handled anything like the rest of the show, I wouldn't be surprised if they said "we do not sell our data to 3rd party companies" and they just edited out the "do not". This is a pretty scandal-seeking show, in my view. "Google could overwhelm us" says an interviewee, and with a very concerned look on her face the interviewer asks, with evident sympathy, "How could Google overwhelm you?". The answer? Oh no, it could give us more sales!!! Crap, we're screwed! Come on, seriously?
Anyway, if this is the only place where this info actually shows up (and I can't even view it - maybe it was retracted as inaccurate? hehe), I have to wonder why. Google censoring their results?