Search based behavioural profiling

If I were to know that I would be profiled based on my search patterns on a Search engine, would I shy away from using it for my searches?

I would.

That would be the primary reason why any Search Engine would consider not pushing the envelope while using data driven by user search patterns. Google Inc., on its part, is looking to find more links between the searches its users do in order to better target advertising, but the company is reluctant to go much further than that in tracking their behavior.

In seeking patterns, Google's plans involve tracking the various words typed in a given search session, as opposed to building a deeper user profile over time. The latter is known broadly as behavioral targeting, which has long been seen by many as the Holy Grail of the online ad business, but inevitably raises issues about personal privacy.

At issue is not only users' sense of privacy, but the success of Google's existing business tying Web searches to related ad links. Plus, the intentions of users can be elusive based on any given set of actions. Google's planned acquisition of advertising tools supplier DoubleClick Inc and the growing level of integration between its various services have raised concerns among privacy advocates over the potential to abuse its growing power.


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