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Concerns about Privacy

This past week, there have been many discussions in the news about privacy concerns. Usually Facebook is at the forefront of anything having to do with online privacy, but for once, they weren't this week. The only mention of Facebook has to do with Diaspora. Diaspora is a new social network that is supposed to be an open alternative to Facebook. The difference is that Diaspora will protect users privacy better than Facebook does. Most people are extremely skeptical as to whether or not Diaspora will actually be any kind of threat to Facebook. Even so, Diaspora has generated a lot of hype and will debut next week on September 15.


Google's new release, Google Instant, gives you search results as you type in your search terms. There is a mix of good and bad reactions to Google Instant. Some of those reactions have to do with privacy. See, Google uses personal information in an effort to deliver relevant search results to you but this is nothing new. According to Google, nothing has changed with this, but some people think that it could have bad results. For example, a search for 'erector set' will bring  up results for 'erectile dysfunction' which is not something you want in your search history. If you pause during typing for just three seconds, that's enough for it to appear in your browser history.


Is there really cause for concern? Some believe that this will result in getting irrelevant searches and can actually make it more difficult to find what you want. They think that once those results are in your browser history, then those are what Google will continue to use, even if it's not what you were searching for.


So what do you think? Are you concerned about your privacy on Facebook and websites like, such as Diaspora? And do you see a problem with the way that Google uses personal information for searches?


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