Search Engines Take Privacy Issue Seriously

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After Google’s announcement that it will anonymize search data logs on its servers after 18 months of inactivity and will allow users to scrub off their data, it is now Microsoft and Yahoo’s turn to take on the user privacy issue hauled at them by both the users and government agencies.

Microsoft for its part announces that it will alse erase search logs after 18 months. But wanting to make one step further ahead of Google, Microsoft also said that it will give its users a free hand in deciding whether they want their data stored in Microsoft’s Live Search servers or be erased after the 18 months period of inactivity has lapsed. Letting this data stay on search servers allows for search engines to give user-tailored search results to users when they use the search engines again. Meanwhile, Yahoo also vowed to erase search data logs after 13 months.

So, whose policy on the privacy issue is the best policy in terms of “really” protecting user’s privacy? The New York Times, thinks its and Yahoo. because with AskEraser, search data logs will be completely erased and Yahoo because of its shorter retention period.

But I don’t think search data logs’ retention period is the issue here after all. But rather on what and how the search data logs are being used by the different search engines. It would also be noteworthy to examine how strong the search servers are when it comes to protection against, hackers and phisers. After all, I don’t think search engines would make use of user search data logs in a bad way.

Still, it is good to know that these major search engines are taking the privacy seriously. Whether it is just to please the Federal Trade Commission, or whichever government agency, or to really protect its users privacy, the important thing to know is that these search engines made some effort to address the issue. Whether their privacy policy will be effective or not is something to watch out for.

Arnold Zafra
Arnold Zafra writes daily on the announcements by Google,, Yahoo & MSN along with how these announcements effect web publishers. He is currently building... Read Full Bio
Arnold Zafra
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  • Marta

    Please help me out. I left Windsor Ontario to attend my mothers funeral in Costa Rica. While I was out of the country my husband hacked into my yahoo e-mail and read and interpreted all my emails. Is this privacy, Was he right in doing so. What can I do about it????? I changed my e-mail to a different name and password, but he seems to know how to get into other peoples e-mails. He also went into my sisters e-mail. Whats going on?
    Please replly

  • Ron

    hey Marta si yo fuera usted le doy una patada en el trasero y lo dejo desgraciadamente una persona como su esposo no es de comfiar .
    My sugestion to you dump the bastard to the curb people like your husband don’t even trust in themselfs

  • Ron

    Hey Marta las personas celosas como su esposo no confian pero ni en la misma sombra de ellos son personas emfermas y inseguras botalo .Hey Marta your husband is a sick bastard who do not trust you or his shadow if I was you I kick the chump to the curb

  • Ron

    Marta your husband knows your passwords or he is the pc administrator if I was you change the password and sign yourself as an administrator but do yourself a favor do not save any passwords in the computer keep them in your head and make them hard numbers and letter’s do not use your social security numbers or birthday or pet’s name etc etc just use your imagination in creating a password and make sure is at least 12 characters long
    good luck
    don’t know hot to sign as an administrator send me e-mail