Search History, Search Records... What's the difference - 2
Judge rules that Google must turn over index records. Both the government and Google claim victory. But in the end, its the consumer who lost the fight
As expected Judge James Ware of the US district court ruled that Google must surrender the index data it maintains for some 50000 odd sites, but it need not hand over any proprietary data or search queries that would personally identify users. Government can claim victory as Google previously had refused to hand over any data and Google can claim victory on the users' privacy front.
As far as I am concerned, the Google victory may not last very long. The US government will definitely cite national security reasons (although it does not have to) and get the data from Google. It will be sooner than later. And Google will have no choice but to comply when that comes or risk being labeled a threat to the US and see its operations being locked down.
So what does it mean to you and me as users of Google? Google is just too good a search engine to just abandon. I have nothing against Google, in fact I love Google (I even have its search embedded on my website and very soon, referrals and Google Ads will follow). There are other options, but they are not good enough as far as I am concerned.
My advise to fellow internet researchers would be to be very careful when you research something. You may never know when Google starts handing over data to the US government.