Posted: January 27, 20108:51 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling Â© 2010 WorldNetDaily
Who in the world knows as much about you and your private thoughts as Google?
That's the question Katherine Albrecht, radio talk-show host and spokeswoman for Startpage, a search engine that protects user privacy, is posing to American Internet surfers.
"It would blow people's minds if they knew how much information the big search engines have on the American public," she told WND. "In fact, their dossiers are so detailed they would probably be the envy of the KGB."
Google exposed in Joseph Farah's "Stop the Presses!" autographed only at WND's online store.
It happens every day, Albrecht explained. When an unfamiliar topic crosses people's minds, they often go straight to Google, Yahoo or Bing and enter key terms into those search engines. Every day, more than a billion searches for information are performed on Google alone.
"If you get a rash between your toes, you go into Google," she said. "If you have a miscarriage, you go into Google. If you are having marital difficulties, you look for a counselor on Google. If you lose your job, you look for unemployment benefit information on Google."
Albrecht said Americans unwittingly share their most private thoughts with search engines, serving up snippets of deeply personal information about their lives, habits, troubles, health concerns, preferences and political leanings.
"We're essentially telling them our entire life stories â€“ stuff you wouldn't even tell your mother â€“ because you are in a private room with a computer," she said. "We tend to think of that as a completely private circumstance. But the reality is that they make a record of every single search you do."
The search engines have sophisticated algorithms to mine data from searches and create very detailed profiles about Americans. She said those profiles are stored on servers and may fall into the wrong hands.
She pointed to the recent cyber attacks that infiltrated Google's operations in China. Bloomberg News reported that Yahoo was also among the victims.
Albrecht said the government may also subpoena citizens' private information after it has been stored by Google, Yahoo and Bing. In a December 2009 interview with CNBC, Google CEO Eric Schmidt divulged that search engines may turn over citizens' private information to the government.
"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place," Schmidt said. "But if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines, including Google, do retain this information for some time. And it's important, for example, that we are all subject to the United States Patriot Act. It is possible that information could be made available to the authorities."
A video of Schmidt's statements follows: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=123391