Web search groups to yield on privacy

Yahoo and Microsoft are preparing to announce concessions in their privacy policies in the next few weeks, as pressure mounts in Europe over the length of time internet search companies should be allowed to hold personal data.The Article 29 Working Party, a group of national officials that advises the European Union on privacy policy, last month said it wanted to investigate how long companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft keep data on individuals who use their search engines.The Working Party has already been in discussions with Google over its policies for keeping data, and intends to widen scrutiny to the rest of the market.The Article 29 group is concerned that data kept by search engine companies can be used to identify individuals and create profiles of their preferences.Although Google dominates the search market, reaching about 70 per cent of the global internet audience, according to Nielsen Net-Ratings, Yahoo Search is used by 22.8 per cent of internet users and Microsoft’s search engine by about 21 per cent.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/23e0931c-2b20-11dc-85f9-000b5df10621.html

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