Data vs. Metadata

Google uses HTTPS for all search queries. That’s good, because it means that all of the questions you ask (a.k.a. your data) will be encrypted. However… regardless of HTTPS, inferences about your searches can still be made by somebody with accesses to your network traffic. For example:

Network Traffic Analysis, Google to AA

In the screenshot above, a popular “packet analyzer” displays DNS queries (a.k.a. metadata). We first connected our test device to and performed a search — and then we clicked on the top search result link — and connected to

The deductive reasoning skills of Sherlock Holmes aren’t required to figure out “alcoholics anonymous” was searched for. And even if used HTTPS encryption (it doesn’t), using DNS metadata, we can still infer the contents of the search data. The connections made offer all the evidence needed.

And that’s why metadata matters.

On 20/08/14 At 01:10 PM

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Story added 20. August 2014, content source with full text you can find at link above.