Thursday, June 14, 2007

Google's Privacy Data Liberalization Activated

Google will keep your search for 18 months

Faced with criticism from privacy activists and questions from the European Union, Google announced Tuesday that it would cut back on how long it keeps the Web search histories of users, to 18 months from 24.

Search information will now be made anonymous after a year and a half, the company said in a letter addressed to an EU privacy watchdog, the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, and posted on the company's Web site.

The information, which is gathered every time a user searches the Internet using Google, gives information about the searcher's tastes and interests. Google shares general information on search trends, but says it does not release this personal information outside the company.

"We believe we can still address our legitimate interests in security, innovation and anti-fraud efforts with this shorter period," Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel, wrote in the letter, adding that the company would "firmly reject" a retention period that was any shorter.

Read the full story here

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