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Microsoft Bing to Forget Your IP After 6 Months

Microsoft today announced that it is cutting the number of months it retains "the entire Internet Protocol address associated with search queries" to six months. This is down from the 18 months it takes under current policy.

The move follows Google's September '08 decision to reduce its 18-month data retention period to nine months and Yahoo!'s December '08 pledge to anonymize user data within 90 days.

"This change is the result of a number of factors including a continuing evaluation of our business needs, the current competitive landscape and our ongoing dialogue with privacy advocates, consumer groups, and regulators – including the Article 29 Working Party, the group of 27 European national data protection regulators charged with providing advice to the European Commission and other EU institutions on data protection, " Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft says the new time limit will come into effect over the next 12 to 18 months, adding that the core components of its policy will remain the same.

At present Microsoft's policy is as follows:

As soon as Microsoft receives a Bing search query we take steps to de-identify the data by separating it from account information that could identify the person who performed the search. Then, at 18 months, we take the additional step of deleting the IP address, the de-identified cookie ID and any other cross-session IDs associated with the query.

  • jonpaul37
    this is just creepy, i really see no benefit in keeping the IP Addresses. Like Microsoft really needs to know that i search "bootylicious"
    Reply
  • bin1127
    That's a lot of harddrives to keep 18 months of data. Good cost cutting measure.
    Reply
  • Honis
    jonpaul37this is just creepy, i really see no benefit in keeping the IP Addresses. Like Microsoft really needs to know that i search "bootylicious"If you think that's creepy I hope you never find out how long Google keeps that information.
    Reply
  • RooD
    Atleast they dont store MAC address
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    Obviously there is no limit to their retention policy if the government wants them to keep track of you. This policy is just the default.
    Reply
  • Steven Bancroft
    HonisIf you think that's creepy I hope you never find out how long Google keeps that information.
    Stated clearly in the article.

    "The move follows Google's September '08 decision to reduce its 18-month data retention period to nine months and Yahoo!'s December '08 pledge to anonymize user data within 90 days."
    Reply
  • huron
    It's amazing to me that people use free search engines and don't think that the company on the other side might be their data to make a profit - who would have guessed?

    Reply
  • festerovic
    How are you not anonymous already? At best, google would only know what my ISP was, unless I was a criminal and my searches set off flags. Then the gov would like to see my IP, and THEY can get it traced. Google can't.

    Not scared.
    Reply
  • jblack
    RooDAtleast they dont store MAC address

    Maybe it is because they cannot get your Mac address?
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    jonpaul37this is just creepy, i really see no benefit in keeping the IP Addresses. Like Microsoft really needs to know that i search "bootylicious"Demographics and also tailoring searches just for you using the IP and cookies to keep track of what you like in a search.
    Reply