Search engines warned over data

Search engines should delete personal data held about their users within six months, a European Commission advisory body on data protection has said.The recommendation is likely to be accepted by the European Commission and could lead to a clash with search giants like Google, Yahoo and MSN.Google and Yahoo anonymise user data after 18 months, while MSN does the same after 13 months.The body said search companies were not clear enough on data protection.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7335359.stmSearch engines must delete data after six months, say watchdogs
Search engines must delete search logs after six months if they are to comply with data protection laws, according to a committee of EU countries’ privacy watchdogs. Google has said that the findings do not take account of commercial reality.
http://out-law.com/page-9021EU warns Google over keeping search records
European authorities have told search engines they must delete personal information about their users after six monthsSearch engines would be forced to delete personal information they collect about their users after six months under new guidelines put forward by European authorities.A European advisory body said that it saw no justification for keeping information relating to search queries for as long as 18 months – as Google does – and criticised search engines for not being clear about the uses to which such information was put.
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article3705743.eceGoogle defends user data policy after EU report
Google Inc on Monday defended a policy of retaining data on Web users for up to 18 months as necessary to improve search results, responding to an EU report that saw no need for search services to keep personal data beyond six months.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUKN0731190420080408EU wants to slash search data retention period to six months
The EU’s top data protection experts have concluded that search engines should only keep user data for six months and should be forced to treat IP addresses as “personal information.”
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080407-eu-issues-tough-data-protection-finding.htmlIndependent Leading article: In search of online privacy
It will come as no surprise to anyone who has used the internet that online search engines retain a history of our previous searches and the identity of our computer. Indeed, it often makes our life easier to find that a page we have previously visited remembers us. But how long would most of us estimate that websites hold this information for? A day, perhaps? A week?The answer is that Google, the world’s top search engine, retains this data for up to 18 months; and other popular search sites do so for a similar period. That is long enough to make even the most net-savvy pause for thought. A report by EU data protection commissioners last week argued that it sees no need for search engines to keep such data beyond six months; and that Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and so-called “cookie” monitoring constitute personal information, which search engines ought to do more to protect.
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-in-search-of-online-privacy-806284.html

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