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Monday, August 3, 2009

On Collecting Google Toolbar Data

Doug Sherrets is looking into the kind of data Google and other companies collect thanks to toolbars or browsers. From the post:

Satya Patel, a former Googler and now a principal at Battery Ventures, said: “I just don’t seen any company that has toolbar data making that data accessible to others. It’s too valuable and too much of a privacy concern. If you think about it, the data that Google has from the Google Toolbar and Google Analytics is incredible and basically can create a real-time map of the web. There are all kinds of interesting applications for this data but I just don’t see any benefit to Google and others to opening up this data. ...”

A former long-time Googler said: “Toolbar data is super sensitive at Google. I think it would be unlikely that Google would ever share this data. Google doesn’t want additional monetization at the expense of risking user trust/privacy on toolbar data. Larry is rightfully very concerned about defending the user’s privacy (and for Google it is economically advantageous to do so). I think if sharing toolbar data were ever to happen it would be very far in the future and likely only because something about the infrastructure of the Internet changed so dramatically that all of the browsing habits of users became transparent or otherwise generally visible.”

[Thanks Doug!]


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