The European Commission has been insistent in its demands that anonymized search engine data be retained for just six months, and now Microsoft has agreed to that limit – but with one condition, that Google, the giant of online search, agrees to the limit, too, Vnunet reports.
In September Google agreed to a nine-month limit, but that’s still too high for the EC’s tastes. It’s an interesting move for Microsoft, but it’s in a good place to make it, since it has just 2% of the European search market, so the effect will be small.
John Vassallo, Microsoft associate council and vice president of EU affairs, said:
"Today, Microsoft has announced that we are prepared to meet the Article 29 Working Party’s search anonymisation guidelines, but believe it is imperative that all search companies adopt the same standard to truly protect people’s privacy."
"We’ve evaluated the multiple uses of search data and believe that we can, in time, move to a six month timeframe while retaining our strong method of anonymization."