Report: Users Call Personalized Search A "Bad Thing" Due To Privacy, Relevancy Concerns

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Nimrod

Its amazing how MaxPC reports on all these earth shattering things and still maintains its air of unbiased. Its amazing how nuance is lost on so many commentors.

Heres a hint idiots, if what MaxPC is reporting seems benign, its because theres something much bigger going in and the publications is trying to maintain a since of neutrality.

But make no mistake, we live in the fucking twilight zone.

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TerribleToaster

I don't know about the rest of you, but I like this search engine that fails to find what I'm looking for while invading my privacy.

Some of you may call that annoying and possibly illegal.

I call it a challenge.

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Nimrod

You could also pay hooker to jerk you off while she spills poison on the toast behind your back. Is that a challenge? Your an idiot. I guess if it feels go then what could possible go wrong?

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MrHasselblad

Someone please attempt to answer this question...

Is there truly any software or hardware out there that can really limit how anonymous someone could be??

My answer to that one to about 98% of the american populations is; NO.

Because even with the best of software and hardware to try to prevent privacy issues; that... Even your very own ISP does in fact sell your information. They'll claim it's generic and removes identifying information about you - but the facts are clearly otherwise.

Darn it even works of so called publicly available WiFi.

The so called right to privacy in america was eliminated over one decade before the internet became available to the general public. This is no such word as privacy in america

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Penterax

Tracking of any kind is an invasion of privacy.

Think of it this way: if a company or the government hooked into your phone calls and monitored them, what would you think of that? Tracking you on the internet should only be possible with a warrant obtained from enough evidence that a judge considered it necessary to finding out if you really did commit a crime, and gathering the evidence to prove it in court.

Besides - they don't work. None of the things that guess at what I want actually has a clue.

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phroderick

Disliked and disabled.

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livebriand

I hate tracking and targeted advertising and do my best to block it. How the hell is my personal information and web history your business?

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joel1981ia

Tracking and delivering ‘personalized’ search results based on browsing habits is 3 things.
1. Less than accurate, as all of your web activity is not personal – students use the web for research, employees use it for gathering work-related information, and if these activities are used to customize your search results, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that the results will be tainted, if the goal is to use your personal interests as a guide to determine relevance.
2. A form of spying. I know and understand that everything that occurs online is stored somewhere in an archive, and that this can be recalled from the server on which it is stored if required for legal reasons, and no matter of opinion, that’s how it is, so I can live with that. However, outside of being subpoenaed this information should stay tucked away in the folder in which it is stored. It should not be recalled from the archive unless/until required by law. This is a personal opinion, and I understand others will differ, and perhaps that makes me a bigger proponent for privacy than them. That is fine with me…
3. Very annoying. I find it most annoying when I try to search for something, and the words I search for barely appear on the first page of results. I work in tech support, and when I go to our knowledge base to try to find information, let’s say “blackberry synchronization”, I find approximately 5 articles on how to synchronize a blackberry to outlook in exchange/enterprise environment. Only 2 of which is on the first page of results, and the first one is halfway down the first page, and then all 5 articles explain how to use blackberry desktop manager to synchronize, using the same steps. The above search (without quotations, I have not tried using quotations yet in the search, as Google was much faster, and with a customer on the phone speed matters) finds not a single article on wireless synchronization. I know wireless wasn’t mentioned above in the search, but I would expect, that a good knowledge base, using a search algorithm that yielding relevant results, that there would be a method using USB and one using wireless, at least within the top 5 results. If I were in charge of articles relating to blackberries, then there would be only one result, and it would link to an article explaining both methods, labeling them ‘Method 1’ and ‘Method 2’. This way you don’t spend 3-5 minutes while your customer is waiting for you to find the steps on how to help them.
Yes, I understand that blackberry synchronization is a pretty simple task for most technicians who work for a company that uses blackberries for their email. But also when I started in tech support I had no experience, and no formal training. I had only touched 2 blackberry phones in my life at the time (and that is not a number which has grown) so the screens on a blackberry were very, very unfamiliar territory for me. (when I actually started we were using a different KB that worked a lot better, since the KB has changed to the current one.)
Bottom line, if I search for something, then I am not always interested in obtaining it, making it, buying it, visiting it, etc. if I search for something then I am wanting to read about it, learn about it, or maybe compare it to other similar items. Sometimes the goal is to find both positive and negative information about something, to weigh out the pros and cons and make a decision between them, and sometimes to validate an argument about quality/functionality/etc. of a product. Basically most of my searches are to find information about random things that I want to look up or either to find information to answer someone else’s question or fix their problem they are having, and rarely is it something that I am interested in that would be beneficial to an advertiser, which is obvious is the conceiver of the ‘personalized’ search idea, as they could in theory turn major profit from it and would be willing to make it rain on Google to persuade them to implement semi-irrelevant search results.

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Captain_Steve

I find most of the new Google search add-ons to be insanely annoying. I'm not searching stuff about me, I don't care for instant search, and when I search for certain terms; I don't want you to show me search items for similiar things when The word I wanted still has more results.

Frankly, I would like a Google retro setting that gives me all the functionality of Google Search 10 years ago. Now I'm going to go yell at kids to get off my lawn.

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stradric

but... all of that information was already there. People don't like that Google is telling them that it's there? I don't get it.

Personalized search is like Google Desktop for your Google Account. I think it's rather convenient actually. But I guess most people would rather choose ignorance. Kinda strange at first, but then once you consider that there are a few billion heavily religious people in the world, it doesn't actually seem so strange. People choose comforting ignorance over inconvenient truth all the time.

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thematejka

So far personalized search has proved fruitful to me. I get more relevant results sometimes, and when I don't get the results I want on the first try it doesn't matter, because it wasn't perfect before Personalized Search.

Speaking of ignorance, I must be one of those people you are talking about since I am a committed Christian. You are right in that people often choose ignorance as a way to deal with things, but to map that straight to religion is ignorance in itself. Not all religions tolerate ignorance of the world's inconvenient truths, and not all religious people do either. Also, your use of "heavily" religious is interesting to me. You must know those few billion people you speak of to make that judgement. Otherwise you might look ignorant.

In regards to the article's possibly inconvenient truth of privacy invasion, it indicates to me that maybe it is time to rethink the value of the internet. Will I continue to use it, but complain about it? Will I continue using it, and force myself to believe nothing is wrong? Will I just leave it altogether if I don't like it? OR will I just trust that Google isn't out to get me, my wife, and children?

I have to choose the last one for now, Google doesn't give a crap about me for all the information it (and countless companies) has collected on me. Anyways, there is all this doom stuff about 2050 floating around at the same time as this privacy stuff. I won't worry to much about things if the world is going crumble that soon (and no, I'm not speaking about end times, I'm not that crazy :P).

Man these are such big issues, what a drag. :P

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PawBear

What? Agnostic much? What a shame. Put yourself on battle front lines and your life in danger and we'll see just how quickly you look for help outside yourself.

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Neufeldt2002

Being anonymous on the web is impossible to do, but I do feel that companies need to quit tracking everyone. Google and Facebook are the biggest offenders here, but with Win 8 MS is going to take that crown as they now will track you in your OS. (No proof, just a feeling I am having about Win 8 with all the ads and social integration.)

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