Archive for the ‘Search Quality’ Category

Google Knows Everything or Just Enough?

September 9, 2008

From the Official Google blog yesterday:

“Today, we’re announcing a new logs retention policy: we’ll anonymize IP addresses on our server logs after 9 months. We’re significantly shortening our previous 18-month retention policy to address regulatory concerns and to take another step to improve privacy for our users.”

“Although that was good for privacy, it was a difficult decision because the routine server log data we collect has always been a critical ingredient of innovation. We have published a series of blog posts explaining how we use logs data for the benefit of our users: to make improvements to search quality, improve security, fight fraud and reduce spam.”

“While we’re glad that this will bring some additional improvement in privacy, we’re also concerned about the potential loss of security, quality, and innovation that may result from having less data.”

From these comments, can we infer search quality, innovation, searcher privacy and security are built on having the most search data?

What impact can anonymized data have when you still control it?