Google Caves on Data Retention Period
Like a petulant child refusing to admit to wrongdoing, Google is reluctantly reducing the retention period for storing IP addresses in its logs to nine months. Google is under increased pressure and scrutiny on several fronts, both here in the States as well as Europe, over its data retention policies as well as its pending pact with Yahoo where Google will sell ads through Yahoo's portal. In April of this year the European Union working party on privacy issues declared that six months was sufficient time to hang on to IP addresses used in searches and must be anonymized after that time. Google has maintained it needed data for at least 18 months to improve the users' experience. Now Google has said, rather reluctantly, that it will reduce that period to nine months but maintains it will be difficult to implement and does little to increase users' privacy while making it more difficult to prevent fraud.