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Microsoft to Delete Search Data after Six Months, Following Recommendation by European Privacy Officials

In order to comply with European privacy law, Microsoft announced that it will delete user search data, including IP addresses, after six months. In 2008 the Article 29 Working Group, which includes data protection officials across the European Union, met with Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to discuss their data retention practices. Following a determination that records are subject to European privacy law, the Article 29 Working Group asked the search engine companies to eliminate online user data, including IP addresses and search queries, after six months. Microsoft will redesign its new Bing search engine to comply with the request. It is unclear at this point what Google and Yahoo will do. In early 2008, EPIC urged the European Parliament to protect the privacy of search histories. For more information, see EPIC: Search Engine Privacy.

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