Google gives in to user privacy demands

IP addresses logged with every search query will now be made anonymous after nine months

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 9, 2008

Google has announced that personal search details of users will be stored on company servers for just nine months.

The decision is the latest twist in a privacy debate that has been raging for months. Pressure on the search giant increased considerably after an advisory report was published by EU data protection regulators that recommended search engines delete personal data within six months.

Previously, IP addresses that were logged with every user search query were made anonymous on Google servers only after eighteen months.

The company maintains that data logs ultimately benefit the users themselves by improving search quality and security, and reducing spam.

According to the official Google Blog, the new decision will come at a price:

“While we're glad that this will bring some additional improvement in privacy, we're also concerned about the potential loss of security, quality, and innovation that may result from having less data. As the period prior to anonymization gets shorter, the added privacy benefits are less significant and the utility lost from the data grows.”

3932 days ago
Sami Halabi

This recent concession from Google is the first piece of "good" news i hear regarding privacy rights for a long time. In addition to a record of your searches Google also maintains an AD ID for all search oriented activity tracking what you look at and what you buy and selling this information off to advertisers. Thus each person has a profile not only of what you search but where you go after your search and what you purchase. Moreover your banking details ARE recorded (although certain laws forbid usage of this info, yet that does not protect your data against infiltration) in accordance with the programming of this AD ID. The monitoring doesn't stop there either with Google giving advertisers search access to emails and full access to government institutions. Even this comment is being tracked.

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