We once pondered whether Google was the devil. One of the issues that we raised was one of privacy. If you’re worried that Google is tracking your searches by cookie ID or by IP address, you have some options to thwart Google. One of those options is Scroogle.
Scroogle is a proxy of sorts, intended for users who don’t want Google to track their searches. To use Scroogle, you enter your search term on the Scroogle site (look for “Scroogle scaper” in the Scroogle sidebar to find the search page). Scroogle then “scrapes” Google’s search results, returning the results to you, minus cookies and ads. The search is sent via Scroogle, so Google won’t be able to log your IP address, either.
This raises the bigger question about whether the opinions of the Scroogle team are nutty, or a good example of being cautious about a powerful company. As some would point out, a tool like Scroogle also could be helpful if you don’t trust the government. Scroogle’s access logs are deleted within 48 hours, and Scroogle doesn’t retain search-term records, so a government subpoena wouldn’t help too much.
What’s your take? Is this all conspiracy-theory nuttiness, or are these tools we should be using?