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Taming the Cookie Monster

Posted By TelecomTV One , 16 February 2012 | 0 Comments | (0)
Tags: Google search engine stealth Carrier IQ

Concerns about online privacy and profiling seem to be a creating demand for alternative squeaky-clean Internet services, such as the Stealth search engine. By Ian Scales.

The bare-faced cheek of it!  When Carrier IQ hit the headlines late last year for alleged unauthorized information gathering from smartphones, one of the first stones was cast by none other than Googler-in-Chief Eric Schmidt, who said it was keylogging and it was wrong.

Eric has a wry sense of humour because Google's private info-gathering activities makes anything Carrier IQ's little client might have been capable of look pathetic. Why would you tiddle about intercepting a few keystrokes when you could track everything a user does deep within the network (where nobody can hear the screams) like Google does? 

These big privacy issues are due for a spot of deep packet inspection and analysis tomorrow on TelecomTV's live Main Agenda Interactive panel session entitled  'Do mobile operators use the data they collect on user behaviour for the benefit of themselves or their customers?' Find out more here and join in.

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If you don't like your privacy being invaded (always assuming you know it's happening) you could always change operators - albeit with some difficulty. But it's much easier to change search engines.

Hat tip to Mashable which today highlights an up-front anti-google website called Stealth. Unfortunate name though. With its sinister overtone and its obvious connection with US military aircraft, it sounds more like a tool that a Google might use to groom new users, rather than a tool to break them out, but at least Stealth is a simple proposition. It offers standard search (like Google) without all of Google's extensive cookies and profiling. They don't know who you are, they don't care, they don't collect data, except data about content to populate the search database.

The engine itself quite usable considering it is early days and  it obviously can't (yet) return millions of results on obscure search terms, Give it a try

Where does the revenue come from? I hear you cry.  Probably doesn't have any yet, but Stealth could in future do ads against search terms as they are entered without upsetting any privacy concerns. Putting a washing machine ad against any search of 'washing machine' sounds pretty targetted to me - not as targetted as Google of course, but you can't have everything.

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