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Don’t Assume That All Crawled Information Is Curated (Video)

Technology creates enormous opportunities for search, but it also raises issues about security, privacy, and ethics.

At Enterprise Search & Discovery 2018, co-located with KMWorld 2018, Marydee Ojala, editor-in-chief of Online Searcher magazine, moderated a spirited panel discussion about the issues most relevant to today’s enterprise search and discovery environment.

The discussion featured Susan E. Feldman, president, Synthexis and Cognitive Computing Consortium, and Eric Smith, chief technologist & information security officer, FireOak Strategies, LLC.

Sometimes, particularly on the open web, there are things that people search for and they get an answer and it’s spurious, but they want to believe it,” observed Ojala. “They want to believe there is a cure for their particular type of cancer. And it's probably not carrot juice. But if you search ‘cures of cancer,’ the top 10 are pretty far out. Whereas, if you start on a pharmaceutical company’s site or if you start at something that is reputable like WebMD, you are going to get things that are reliable.”

People don't necessarily start at a particular site, they start with a question, said Ojala. “And they do the same thing inside the enterprise. They just start with a question. And they make the assumption—which is probably more valid inside the organization than not—that there's somebody somewhere who's curated this, who's said, ‘Yeah, this has the seal of approval.’ Hopefully, inside the enterprise, that is exactly what has happened. “

However, Ojala noted, on the open web, you shouldn't assume that at all. 

I know it's not,” noted Feldman. “I worked with one of the largest software companies in the world. They had designed a new search engine and they were trying it out on their stuff. They just let it loose and turned it on. They were appalled at what they found, including pay records, and internal documents which were confidential, etc. In that case, probably the information was very good. But is there any reason why you would expect it all to be good? And the answer, I think, is no.”

View the video

Many speakers have made their slide decks available at www.enterprisesearchanddiscovery.com/2018/Presentations.aspx

Learn more at Enterprise Search & Discovery 2019, coming to Washington, DC, Nov. 5-7.

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