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That doesn't mean Google couldn't or shouldn't prevent the browser from doing it.

When this all started, no one envisioned ad networks and data companies aggregating all this personal information, or even that search terms would be a central part of the Internet.

So now that we know what is going on, why allow this personal information to leak? As far as I can tell, the only reason is so Webmasters can do better at Google SEO. And that reason can be wholly mitigated through the use of Google's Webmaster Tools.

"And that reason can be wholly mitigated through the use of Google's Webmaster Tools."

No, Google's webmaster tools only provide a sampling of the data. We used to provide info for only 100 queries. Now we provide it for more queries, but it's still a sample: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/more-data...

Please don't make the argument that the data in our webmaster console is equivalent to the data that websites can currently find in their server logs, because that's not the case.

Hi Matt. Is there any technical reason why that tool can't provide full information? Clearly Google isn't opposed to not sending referrer data, given the existence of https search, but doesn't DDG have a point about third parties having access to the referrer data? (Full disclosure: I wrote this article)

Maybe not "when it all started" but we envisioned massive data gathering and analyzing pretty early on.

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