Google Changes Privacy Policy

Google is changing their privacy policy. From the Google Blog:

When you search on Google, we collect information about your search, such as the query itself, IP addresses and cookie details. Previously, we kept this data for as long as it was useful. Today we’re pleased to report a change in our privacy policy: Unless we’re legally required to retain log data for longer, we will anonymize our server logs after a limited period of time. When we implement this policy change in the coming months, we will continue to keep server log data (so that we can improve Google’s services and protect them from security and other abuses)–but will make this data much more anonymous, so that it can no longer be identified with individual users, after 18-24 months.

This announcement is both comforting and not at all comforting. For more info see the “Log Retention PDF” and Google’s privacy FAQ. —MEGHANN MARCO

Taking steps to further improve our privacy practices
[Google Blog]


Edit Your Comment

  1. phloighd says:

    “Unless we’re legally required to retain log data for longer…” Do any laws currently require them to do this?

  2. Automatt says:

    Any American laws? Google is in business all over the world.

  3. 44 in a Row says:

    That could also refer to discovery obligations or subpoenas. Once a lawsuit is commenced, a company isn’t allowed to destroy records relating to the lawsuit. So if there was an ongoing case, they might be legally obligated to retain the data.

  4. souhaite says:

    EU data retention laws and proposed legislation in the US require that internet traffic data be retained for law enforcement purposes.

  5. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Hey, it all goes through the NSA’s “secret room” anyway. Remember, kids, there is no privacy on the Interweb.

  6. Mark 2000 says:

    How about not retaining them for more than a month? How long do you really need that data for?