Seeking the key to web privacy

In the lobby of Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, computer screens display lists of the words being entered into the company’s search engine.Although Google says the system is designed to filter out any scandalous or potentially compromising queries, the fact that even a fraction of searches can be seen by visitors to the world’s biggest search company is likely to come as a shock to internet users who think of web browsing as a private affair.”People generally believe that using a search engine is the equivalent of talking to a priest or a rabbi,” says Larry Ponemon, head of the Ponemon Institute, a privacy think-tank. “The public in general doesn’t seem to fully understand how their privacy may be at risk.”

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