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Google gives in to user privacy demands

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

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.”

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