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Is Google's use of cookies unnecessarily invasive?

Is Google's use of cookies unnecessarily invasive? Daniel Brandt, described by Salon yesterday as Mr. Anti-Google, says Google "has inadequate justification for planting a cookie that expires in 2038 on every user, and also recording that user's search terms, IP number, and time-date." Brandt is the man behind the NameBase conspiracy database (previously discussed here), and also uncovered the CIA's illegal use of cookies last March. He insists that Google's use of cookies, combined with the Patriot Act, allows U.S. authorities to "do a 'sneak and peek' search of a Google user's hard drive when he isn't home, retrieve a Google cookie id, and then get a keyword search history" specific to the user's computer. Oh yeah, he also thinks PageRank is undemocratic.
posted by mediareport on Aug 30, 2002 - 39 comments

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