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Search Giants Google & Microsoft Bing Compete on Privacy

January 20, 2010

In August 2008, Google cut the retention period of user search data to 9 months, down from 18 months. After 9 months it no longer retains the IP addresses that can be used to link a user search to an individual.

Recently Microsoft, not to be outdone, reduced the retention period of its users search data to a mere 6 months. Microsoft has accused Google of retaining a portion of the user’s IP address after it’s self-imposed 9 month retention period, while Microsoft claims it will remove the entire IP address.

“Quality of search won’t be reduced but privacy will be enhanced”
Brendon Lynch, Microsoft’s director of privacy policy

Microsoft’s actions appear to be in response to European Union data protection officials request that leading search engine makers respond to their privacy concerns by the end of this month over retaining IP address data.

I commend Microsoft for this move. We can only hope that increased competition will lead to improved privacy and data security by industry leaders, setting a course for others to follow.

Article here

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One Comment leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 5:40 pm

    In an interesting follow-up to this post, Glide OS (http://www.GlideLife.com) changed its default search engine from Google to Bing and posted this statement:

    “In recognition of Microsoft’s decision to adhere to privacy standards established by data protection officers of the European Union (the Article 29 committee) and place the privacy of consumers as a priority, TransMedia has determined to change the default search engine in Glide from Google to Microsoft’s Bing. We hope that the other leading search engines will follow Microsoft’s lead.”

    TransMedia Chairman and CEO, Donald Leka.

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