Orin beat me to it, but I also found the story about using Google's search data as a way to detect flu outbreaks to be pretty interesting. My response, I must say, is a little different from Orin's - he found it "creepy," on the grounds that we might not "want Google establishing such a cozy relationship with the federal government." I recognize there's serious potential for abuse -- but on the other hand, take a look at this:
[Taken from the NY Times' story] That's a fairly extraordinary public health tool -- one that, according to the Times story, "may be able to detect regional outbreaks of the flu a week to 10 days before they are reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." And, at least if there's been no disclosure of personally identifiable information, that's some pretty useful stuff, and I'm not sure I'm so unhappy if the Centers for Disease Control have access to it. It's a very big and very important "if," to be sure, but I would hope that Orin's proposed "Search Engine Privacy Act" statute won't throw this particular baby out with the bathwater.