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The Scary Side of Search

Nick Finck

August 17, 2004 at 11:12 AM

In a recent BBC news article entitled Searching for new ways to search journalist Mark Ward quotes Kathy Rittweger, co-founder of search start-up Blinkx, about the software they are producing that will help filter your searches by "key concepts." This is essentially a piece of software that will track what you are working on (and I mean everything) to help isolate the type of search you would need to find resources on the same subject. The reality of this type of solution is that it jeopardizes privacy in favor of functionality. As one findability expert said, "I don't want to give up that information and I'm not convinced it will help improve search... though I'm sure it will make lots of money on the ad side." I couldn't agree more.



September 3, 2004 at 6:44 AM

Hi Nick! I just read this and had to blog back. I'm using blinkx and don't agree with you at all! Blinkx does comb through all your files, yes - but the information it aggregates simply stays on your computer and is not released to anyone else. So how can it jeopardize your privacy? (unless you have a nosey flatmate who goes through all the stuff on your computer, and I am sure they could do that without the help of blinkx.) It is simply the most helpful search tool that links you to information that's already stored on your pc and relevant websites etc. You can do that from your desktop without the need to type in anything manually and it doesn't cost you a thing either. Why are people always so pessimistic when someone comes up with a brilliant new idea??? saskia


September 30, 2004 at 10:27 AM

I agree Saskia. I'm glad people are making such amazing applications for free. I can't see any problems with privacy, it's had a lot of press, so I'm sure it would have been highlighted big time if it jeopardized you at all.

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