by Kerry Fitz-Gerald
Recently, a former student forwarded me an article about advanced Google search techniques. In his email he noted that he didn’t use Google for research because of privacy concerns, but thought I might find the article of interest.
I was, I confess, more interested in his comment about privacy. I regularly teach my students that it can be very cost-effective to start their research in Google Scholar’s case law search, but I’d never thought about the privacy angle before. Was this just paranoia or was there something to this?
Coincidentally, just two days later, my SSRN notifications pointed me towards an article on this very issue: When to Research is to Reveal: the Growing Threat to Attorney and Client Confidentiality from Online Tracking, by Anne Klinefelter, 16 Virginia Journal of Law & Technology No. 1 (2011). After reading this article, I realized that my student may be right to be concerned, though the threat seems so amorphous it’s hard to get my head around.