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Microsoft curtails how long it stores Web searches

Calls for Industry Dialog

     
3:30 am on Jul 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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[reuters.com...]

Microsoft Corp. said on Sunday the software maker was taking new steps to protect consumer privacy in the areas of Web search and online advertising and called on the Internet industry to support it.

Microsoft said it was responding to public concern over the recent consolidation of the online ad industry as well as stepped-up interest from government regulators in its call for a comprehensive rather than piecemeal approach to privacy.

"We think it's time for an industrywide dialogue," Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy officer, said in an interview. "The current patchwork of protections and how companies explain them is really confusing to consumers."

Specifically, Microsoft said it would make all Web search query data anonymous after 18 months on its "Live Search" service, unless it receives user consent to store it longer. The policy changes are retroactive and worldwide, it said.

5:23 am on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How about making it optional to store it for any length of time if it is attatched to an individual?
6:43 am on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I feel privacy such as this is best handled from the browser. It should be a browser setting which determines how long sites are permitted to keep your personal data.

With each GET request the browser sends, it could send an additional header:

Data-Retention-Until: 2007-12-19T16:39:57-08:00

That way, if I'm only happy for my data to be kept for three days, I can have my browser inform all sites of this automatically as I visit.

10:12 am on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft said it was responding to public concern over the recent consolidation of the online ad industry [..]

From:
Redmond
Subject:
new PR guideline
Content:
Make sure to include at least one sneer at Google in every press release.
3:07 pm on July 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

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From: Redmond
Subject: new PR guideline
Content: Make sure to include at least one sneer at Google in every press release.

As if Google is any better. Competition is fierce and if someone is willing to one up the competition, then more power to them.