The search privacy feature of Ask.com which was announced sometime in July is finally launched today.
AskEraser is a privacy tool which when enabled by user (See link at the upper right hand corner of the Ask.com portal) will delete all search activity of users from Ask.com servers. These search activity data includes:
- information about the visited pages,
- search terms used,
- links clicked,
- IP addresses
- user or session identifier
So, how does AskEraser works? When AskEraser is enabled, all Ask.com cookies will be deleted from a user’s browser. One of these cookies will be set to remember that a user has already turned on AskEraser.com. Users must not delete their cookies after setting AskEraser on to retain the setting every time they visit Ask.com.
AskEraser remains working for 24 months. After which, users have to turn AskEraser on again. Seems a pretty neat feature indeed. But wait, it doesn’t come without a catch of course.
When AskEraser is on, there are some personalization options which will not be available on the Ask.com site. Of course, this has something to do with options which require personal data from users. These personalization features include, homepage skins and myStuff. If you don’t use those options, then you won’t have a problem setting on AskEraser. Or if you do use those options, then you will be prompted to turn off AskEraser.
From the looks of it, Ask.com seems pretty serious with protecting the privacy of its users. After the other search engines issued press releases on their specific privacy strategies, only Ask.com have made a significant move to date.
But the question is, will AskEraser encourage more users into the Ask.com search portal? That remains to be seen.