User Privacy and Search Engines: Read The Fine Print

We use them every day, but we don't always give much thought to what kind of privacy policies the search engines we are using might have. Here are a few search engine privacy policies that shed some light on how search engines really view user privacy, and how it affects you as a Web searcher.

  • Yahoo Privacy: Yahoo has very nicely done a roundup of every search service they offer with direct links to each one's privacy policy. You can also view a printer-friendly version of every single privacy policy; most likely a pretty lengthy load on your printer, but helpful nonetheless.
  • Google Privacy: Get privacy information on such Google services as Gmail, Google Web Accelerator, etc., along with Google Privacy FAQ, a layman's look at search engine privacy issues.
  • A9 Privacy: As of this writing, A9's privacy policy has not been updated since 2004. Worth a read.
  • Alta Vista Privacy Policy: In addition to the regular privacy policy Alta Vista also has a children's privacy policy "to learn about how we treat information collected from children."
  • AOL Member Privacy Policy: AOL has a very complete privacy policy; you can read it all online.
  • Ask.com Privacy Policy: Ask's privacy policy is presented in a very user-friendly format. Easy to understand.
  • Microsoft Online Privacy Policy:This link is to the short and sweet version; to really get into the nitty gritty of Microsoft's online privacy policies, you'll want to visit Microsoft Online Privacy Statement, the full version.

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