Some people don't like Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) knowing too much about them. Big G collects user data for various purposes that seem nefarious from a certain angle, which has spurred a very vocal minority to shout about session cookies and anonymous browsing. However, the search giant's solution to this minor uproar seems completely countertintuitive.

I wouldn't be surprised if a fair number of the tinfoil-hat crowd have switched to Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Bing, Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO) Search, or even Ask.com from IAC/InterActive (Nasdaq: IACI) over this barefaced data collection (not to be confused with covert or supposedly accidental data gathering, mind you). Never mind the possibility that the other search engines might also collect some info for themselves -- they all do, in fact.

To address users' concerns, Google has published a browser add-on that blocks some of its usual data collection. Yep, install a Google-developed piece of software in your Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Firefox browser, and rest assured that Google now has a harder time following your online tracks. Specifically, its Google Analytics data streams get plugged, so webmasters everywhere lose the ability to analyze your browsing patterns on their sites. Google can't read the information, either.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Sure, Google depends on scoring brownie points with the user community, lest it lose market share, but this is a boneheaded move. The few people who really want to keep their browsing habits secret already have many means of doing: third-party browser plugins, anonymizing proxies, or the built-in "private browsing" modes in every modern web reader.

Google ends up looking confused here. The Analytics team seems to be in on the joke, since the opt-out tool gets a plug in the service's privacy policy. Hence, I can't claim that the left hand acted without the right hand's knowledge. So Google provides a useful and dang near ubiquitous webmaster's tool for tracking traffic, and then a consumer tool to turn it off. You can't please everybody, Google. Just stick with the silent majority from time to time.

Will you install this data-blocking add-on, or would you rather see Google using collected data to improve its services? Discuss in the comments below. For the record, the data-blocking software will never have a home in my computers.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.