Saturday, August 06, 2005

Personalized Search: Holy Grail or a crock?

[...] "(...It) is a crock, beyond any doubt.
It won't work well, and the extent to which it might work someday could easily be harmful rather than beneficial. These effects come at the cost of your online privacy, which would be too high a price to pay even if the results held high promise.

The only mystery is why so many commentators haven't figured this out. Actually, it's not all that mysterious. There are very few journalists who ask hardball questions of search engine experts, because their access to high-tech corporate players requires a certain level of uncritical acceptance. Even the dot-com crash did little to change this picture. Also, there are relatively few nonprofit, public-sector activists who follow the Internet closely or know much about it. Another problem is that bloggers often set the agenda for high-tech babble, and most bloggers became enemies of personal privacy from the first moment that they started their blog.

This must change, or the search engines will consider it their mission to turn all of us into dumbed-down consumers. And as the engines go, so goes the entire Internet.



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