Search Engines: Who's Searching for You?
An Online Privacy Fact Sheet from the ACLU
The more you search online, the more digital footprints you leave behind.
The information in your search records is valuable. Searching online is an amazing way to find information about anything and everything. But when you browse those online stacks of information, you leave a trail that reveals a lot about you: your interests, habits, beliefs, and concerns. And outdated privacy laws, written before the Web even existed, mean that all this personal information isn't being properly protected from prying eyes. Don't pay for search engines with control of your personal information. Demand a privacy upgrade. Demand your dotRights.
You're searching – and so are companies
When you browse a library for information, no one watches over your shoulder, taking notes on the books you pick up and the pages you read. But most search engines record your searches, keeping records about you and your searches for months or years. They use this information to create a profile about you, maybe to customize your search experience or provide targeted advertising. They might also share it with or sell it to other companies. Your searches can sometimes be linked back to you even after they are "anonymized." And you might not even know any of this is happening.
You're searching – and so is the government
Your online search records are a treasure trove of details about your private life. And the government is taking advantage of loopholes and grey areas in outdated privacy laws to try to get its hands on this information without a search warrant reviewed and approved by a judge. Search engines get thousands of demands for information every year that a judge has never seen!
Demand control of your online search history
You deserve to be able to use search engines without having to worry that your personal information could end up being used in ways you never intended or imagined. It's time to upgrade privacy laws to keep our personal information safe. It's time to stop paying for new technology with our privacy.
DOWNLOAD This One-Pager Search Engines
LEARN MORE: Visit dotRights.org to learn more and to sign up for dotRights updates
TAKE ACTION: Demand that companies tell you who's getting their hands on your information and that lawmakers update privacy law.