By Robert L. MitchellMay 11, 2009 12:00 PM ET
"It's easy to understand why privacy advocates and policymakers are sounding alarms about online privacy in general -- and singling out Google in particular.
Google stores tremendous amounts of data about you and your activities on its servers, from the content you create to the searches you perform, the Web sites you visit and the ads you click."
- Google's search engine:
Google knows what you searched for as well as your activity on partner Web sites that use its ad services.
- Chrome browser: it may know every Web site you've typed into the address bar, or "Omnibox."
- G-Mail has all your e-mail (Google)
- Google Calendar (Google)
- Last known location (Google Latitude).
- It may know what you're watching (YouTube) and whom you are calling.
- ITranscripts of your telephone messages (Google Voice).
- Your photos in Picasa Web Albums, which includes face-recognition technology that can automatically identify you and your friends in new photos.
- And - Google Books, it may know what books you've read, what you annotated and how long you spent reading.
"It is the breathtaking scope of data under Google's control, generated by an expanding list of products and services, that has put the company at the center of the online privacy debate. According to Pam Dixon, executive director at the World Privacy Forum, "No company has ever had this much consumer data" -- an assertion that Google disputes."
Article: Computer World
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