14
March
2007
|
06:20 PM
America/Los_Angeles

GOOG Will Hold Private Search Data for up to 2 Years

Under revisions announced late Wednesday, Google promised to wrap a cloak of anonymity around the vast amounts of information that the Mountain View-based company regularly collects about its millions of users around the world.

Google believes it can provide more assurances of privacy by removing key pieces of identifying information from its system every 18 to 24 months. The timetable is designed to comply with a hodgepodge of laws around the world that dictate how long search engines are supposed to retain user information.

Google to Adopt New Privacy Measures By Michael Liedtke, AP Business Writer

Interesting. Especially since GOOG and the other search engines have often said they are interested in behavioral data rather than individual data. If GOOG didn't collect identifiable data in the first place it wouldn't need a privacy policy. And it wouldn't be vulnerable to this:

 

Authorities still could demand to review personal information before Google purges it or take legal action seeking to force the company to keep the data beyond the new time limits.

Nevertheless, Google's additional safeguards mark the first time it has spelled out precisely how long it will hold onto data that can reveal intimate details about a person's Web surfing habits.

I hope it is not the same type of unidentifiable data that AOL released last year, which didn't take much work to identify some users.

The unguarded thoughts of the digital haves...

The most compelling content on the Internet, by far, is AOL's release of search terms linked to individual users. This is a glimpse into the human condition that goes way beyond anything else we have seen, beyond Dostoevsky, Dickens,...

 

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