At the New York Times BITS blog, Brad Stone reports on a study about to be released by George Loewenstein and several other Carnegie Mellon researchers about people’s parodoxical attitudes towards privacy and personal information. In one experiment, some people were given express assurances of privacy whereas others were given none. Strangely, the people given no assurances of privacy were twice as likely to admit to copying someone else’s homework.
The company still indexes your email. It still stores your IP address alongside your search history for at least 18 to 24 months. And if it does “anonymize” your IP address after 24 months – and that’s a big if – it still refuses to anonymize the whole thing.
So if conspicuous reminders of privacy concerns are important, why won’t Google put a simple link on its homepage? According to another post at BITS, a Google competitor stated that Google co-founder Larry Page “didn’t want a privacy link ‘on that beautiful clean home page.’”
And paradoxically, perhaps more likely to serve its purpose.