Some question Google's 'rookie mistakes' with SearchWiki

Tool for customizing on search results lacks opt-out option and raises privacy concerns

"So, now the whole world will see that 'dweinberger' not only searched for ' Angelina Jolie' but thumbs-upped the page of closeups of her tattoos?" he added. "Guess who just changed his nickname to something less identifiable! This is a feature without value? -- the list of names isn't clickable or complete [and it does not] tell you how many people voted it up - unless you recognize someone's nickname, in which case it has negative value."

Michael Zimmer, an assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, added that Google has long pointed out that it tracks, collects and processes what users search for and click on to improve the quality of search results.

"With SearchWiki, Google can now amass an even larger data set of user behavior, including how particular users rank certain results, what results they don't find relevant, and even what results should be there that Google's spider hasn't yet discovered," he noted. "In short, users are now performing much of the crawling, indexing, and ranking functions that Google has previously stated was done to near perfection through its algorithms. And what do users get in return for providing this labor to Google? Better results, perhaps. But also some serious privacy concerns."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags google searchwiki

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Heather Havenstein

Computerworld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?