Search Engines, My Photos and Privacy

Posted on this Friday, August 1, 2008 00:01 by caw
Filed Under Technology | Leave a Comment


I was listening to NPR earlier this week and they had a story about a new search engine called Cuil (pronounced like the English word “cool”). Very trendy splash page: black background, grey and blue letters, a blue search button, and that’s about it.

The intersting thing about them is they keep no personally identifiable information. They don’t track what you search for, no IP adresses, nada. On their Privacy Policy page (which is refreshingly short), it says

Privacy is a hot topic these days, and we want you to feel totally comfortable using our service, so our privacy policy is very simple: when you search with Cuil, we do not collect any personally identifiable information, period. We have no idea who sends queries: not by name, not by IP address, and not by cookies (more on this later). Your search history is your business, not ours.

In today’s “track everything” world, this is a change!

Having found this gem, I wanted to try it out. You know, search for something. Lacking anything useful to search for, I put in “c.a.williams” and pushed the return key. We are acustomed to searching for everything on the Internet but unless you have a narcissistic streak, how often do you search for youself? I know I haven’t in ages. Guess I figure I’m not that important.

So imagine my surprise to find my photos at other people’s web sites. Places like and And I found them because they did what my license told them to, namely provide attribution and a link.

How cool is that!


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