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EU Challenges Google On Data Retention

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Two years may be too long to keep search information without some kind of justification, according to the European Union.

EU Challenges Google On Data Retention
EU Challenges Google On Data Retention
EU Challenges Google On Data Retention

The Article 29 Working Group advises the European Union on data protection issues. They are not happy with the length of time Google plans to retain search information in their databases.

The Financial Times said Google’s desire to keep that data for as long as 24 months may run counter to privacy laws in the EU. It’s a lot shorter than the indefinite time Google has kept search data prior to their policy change.

Information on what people search for could be used to construct a pretty accurate profile of an individual. The potential for an epic scale invasion of privacy exists, should a government or a malicious party manage to grab that information.

It is unlikely an external attack would be able to breach Google’s security, as the company prizes that information even more than the people who contribute it. Government intervention is another matter, and Google has already fought one battle with the Justice Department over its try at grabbing a huge amount of that data.

Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer pointed out to the Times that Yahoo and Microsoft have not publicly announced any limits to their search data retention. Fleischer previously wrote on Google’s official blog that “since these laws do not yet exist, and are only now being proposed and debated, it is too early to know the final retention time periods, the jurisdictional impact, and the scope of applicability.”

EU Challenges Google On Data Retention
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  • Andy Black

    So as the dust settles on the recent acquisitions in the ad serving market, with WPP buying 24/7 Real Media, Google buying DoubleClick, Microsoft buying aQuantive, AOL buying AdTech and Yahoo buying Right Media