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Google has started putting a cookie on some of its users hard drives that keeps track of how many searches they have done, according to an article in The New York Times. (Frequent Search Engine Users, Google Is Watching and Counting)

The journalist seemed to think that this was a big deal. But Google has been putting cookies on hard drives for some time — mostly, though, for allowing users to set preferences.

Google is actually doing a lot of interesting stuff behind the scenes. If they were interested in violating people’s privacy, they could do much, much worse than simple cookies that everybody can see. In fact, of all the companies I’ve seen, Google seems to have one of the highest commitments to privacy.

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