That is the question, is it private or not private, or is it even your data. This all, in an interesting article about search history and how it should be handled (via WSJ).
John Battelle thinks the search engines should take a stronger position.
The Attention Trust lays out the principles that customers should require of their consumers of their attention.
The government is trying to protect your data and at the same time trying to ensure that they have access to it.
The way I see it, its our data without the user Google wouldn’t exist and the government is sanctioned by the people for the people. We need to be more demanding of our online relationships when it comes to the privacy and handling of our data. We also need to be more exacting and demanding of our elected officials in protecting our basic rights. It’s not that the government shouldn’t have access to our Internet activity, that access should follow due process, be visible to the user or their legal representative (in some cases this may be a court) and be transparent. Companies should respect the user’s rights and provide clear mechanisms for customers to exercise those rights. We minimally share copyright on our user data. Companies need to recognize that joint copyright and set forth a framework for collaboration and rights management (which may include explicit termination of rights).
Just my two cents.
Questions in my mind,
What is the value of the history of human behavior (online or offline)? Don’t know, but that information serves us to this day, will Google query history, who knows.
When do the names on a war memorial become obsolete? Never.
What about privacy, can someone refuse to have a family members name on a memorial? Not sure.