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Google Inc. said Tuesday it will further cut the amount of time it keeps users' data logged on its search engine to meet EU privacy demands.
Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy adviser, said the company will reduce the time it stores search information from 18 months to nine. Google introduced an 18-month limit in 2007.
"With the new policy today we will anonymize the IP addresses on our server logs after nine months, so that is a significant improvement in privacy terms and it puts us ahead of the rest of the industry," Fleischer told Brussels-based reporters via a telephone link.
There's more detail about this change on the Google Blog:
The problem is difficult to solve because the characteristics of the data that make it useful to prevent fraud, for example, are the very characteristics that also introduce some privacy risk. After months of work our engineers developed methods for preserving more of the data's utility while also anonymizing IP addresses sooner.