Google can already collect and store a staggering amount of personal information - search queries, email records, copies of hard drives' contents, personal calendars, and much more. Collecting these records alone can paint a vivid picture of a user's most private interests and concerns, but apparently Google's just getting started.
In a recent interview, CEO Eric Schmidt stated that "We cannot even answer the most basic questions because we don?t know enough about you. That is the most important aspect of Google?s expansion." It's no secret that Google -- and, in fact, other search engines as well -- are interested in expanding the private data they collect, but this article puts the company's plans in especially plain terms.
Expansion of data collection must be matched with more expansive privacy protections both by businesses and the law. The FTC is looking into the Google-DoubleClick merger, which has raised concerns that too much information will be under one roof. Google recently decided to delete key information in its server logs that could be used to link particular users to records of their search queries, but, as we noted at the time, this is only a first step in the right direction.