Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Talk about Google!

Here is the latest on Google's data retention policy:

Google on Tuesday said it would cut the time for which it retains users’ personal search data to 18 months from 18-24 months, in a fresh concession to European Union data protection officials. The Article 29 working party, a group of national officials that advises the European Union on privacy policy, sent a letter to Google last month asking the company to justify its policy of keeping information on individuals’ internet searches for up to two years. Peter Fleischer, the internet search group’s global privacy counsel, wrote to Peter Scharr, chairman of the Article 29 group, confirming the move to cut the data retentoin period but pointing out that future data retention laws “may obligate us to raise the retention period to 24 months.” In a posting on the the official Google blog, Mr Fleischer wrote: “The internet is a global medium, and the principles at stake – privacy, security, innovation and legal obligations to retain data – have an impact beyond Europe, and outside of the realm of privacy. These principles sometimes conflict: while shorter retention periods are good for privacy, longer retention periods are needed for security, innovation and compliance reasons. We believe we’ve struck a reasonable balance between these various factors.”

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