This is a master thesis at the Institute of Informatics, University of Oslo. Duration is 30 study
This thesis is about privacy aspects in relation to usability of internet based search engines. The
problem area of the thesis is divided in two:
1) Why privacy aspect are related to the issue of finding personal information with search
2) Why privacy aspects are related to the knowledge which the search engines have about their
The theory chapter defines privacy and why it is important. Different definitions are presented and
also the privacy law of Norway is outlined. Search engine theory is also presented, and focus is on
how it works and what information is logged about their users.
A series of interviews is conducted, which shows usability and attitudes towards privacy aspects
concerning search engines. The results show, among others, the users concern of keeping control of
their personl information on the Internet, and that they ignore the search engines ability to find
personal information. The empirical material also show that the users do not think of search engines
ability to log information about their users as a privacy threat.
The master thesis concludes, among others, that search engines has good abilities to find personal
information and to log information about their users. The search engines do not adress these privacy