Google Instant – not so fast!

Published by dave at 3:41 PM under Internet | Daily Tips | Opinion | privacy | technology

You may have seen the news today announcing new technology from Google called “Instant search”.  The blog post from Google announcing the development can be found here.

I’m always curious to see what’s behind emerging trends, especially when it’s something being pushed by Google.  So is Google Instant the greatest breakthrough in search this decade or not?

Only time will answer that question, but my initial review of the technology leaves me unmoved and more than just a little suspicious.

Google Instant certainly results in a visually appealing search experience, but at what cost to your privacy?  If the devil is in the details, here is the devil you should be aware of if you are going to use Google Instant.  From Google’s own FAQ regarding instant search:

“Please note, users on domains other than can only access Google Instant if they are signed in to a Google Account”

In other words, unless you are logged in to GMAIL, Google voice or other Google service, Instant Search will not work.  Of course if you are signed in, EVERYTHING you search for can be used to  uniquely identify the person behind the search query.  This should raise further privacy concerns from consumer watchdogs and I suspect it will in time.

For now I will take a wait and see attitude with regard to Google Instant, but I will also refrain from using it until more facts are known.

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