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Microsoft Privacy

Microsoft To Delete Bing IP Data After 6 Months 101

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-see-you-anymore dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Bowing to pressure from the EU, Microsoft said it would discard all data collected via its Bing search engine after six months. (Microsoft's announcement contains a timeline for what data gets anonymized or deleted when.) Until now, the software giant has retained the data for 18 months. Over the past two years, however, Internet companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have made efforts to reduce the amount of time that information is stored. Microsoft's policies will remain the same, but now, the company will delete the IP address and other info after six months. Back in December 2008, Microsoft said it would reduce its retention time to six months, but only if its rivals followed suit. At the time, Yahoo anonymized its data after 13 months, and Google did the same after 9 months. A week later, Yahoo cut that time down to three months, but Google said its decisions are not conditioned on what competitors do."
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Microsoft To Delete Bing IP Data After 6 Months

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  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Uranium-238 (1586465) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @04:59PM (#30825206)
    One of my professors last semestor asked us a similar question: "Do you want your DNA to be stored indefinitely on a national database?" To which I said good lord no! I was then asked what I have or might have to hide in the future and I said nothing, merely my privacy and my genetic code. I added as a joke Enjoy the terrorists making bio weapons tailored to your DNA.
  • Re:Privacy (Score:4, Insightful)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:00PM (#30825220)

    We want privacy - give it to us.

    Who is this we you speak of? Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily. Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. Like Mafia Wars for instance; basically nothing more than a database with a shitty HTML front end that offers no real game play or player interactions yet people eat it up, allowing companies like Zynga to scrap profile data or serve them "customer surveys" or "trail offers" and "free products"... People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

  • Hah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dedazo (737510) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:01PM (#30825222) Journal

    Google won't follow suit? The difference here is that Bing is a loss leader for Microsoft. People want more privacy? No problem sez Microsoft, whatever. It's not like they live off the data they mine from their search engine users (which last I heard was something like 4% of the total in the US).

    For Google, government-mandated privacy regulations can really hurt the bottom line. That data and how long they can hold on to it is essentially their business model.

    I actually wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft become a champion of consumer privacy on the Internet later on... you know, for the children.

  • Re:Hah (Score:2, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:41PM (#30825784)

    You're a free-rider. The rest of us who let Google track us enable Google to better understand what people search for, for example recognizing as you narrow your search, that the last thing you settled on was what motivated the first set of keywords.

    Of course, this only requires IP tracking. If you use Tor to get at Google, you're just paranoid.

  • Re:Hah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:41PM (#30825788)

    Your search results depend on other people's input. :>

  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc,paradise&gmail,com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:43PM (#30825808) Homepage Journal

    People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

    On the other hand, the fact that so many are doing it would seem to indicate that they see value for themselves in this. However, this belief is founded on the assumption that people are aware of how their data is used in the first place; or that they think it's significant. For most Internet users, neither is true.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by causality (777677) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:45PM (#30825844)

    We want privacy - give it to us.

    Who is this we you speak of? Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily. Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. Like Mafia Wars for instance; basically nothing more than a database with a shitty HTML front end that offers no real game play or player interactions yet people eat it up, allowing companies like Zynga to scrap profile data or serve them "customer surveys" or "trail offers" and "free products"... People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

    One question seems to be largely unanswered: of what value is months-old data, especially when many of the IP addresses contained therein are dynamic and therefore no longer tied to a specific user or machine? What is this data worth to them that there is any difficulty in convincing them to let it go? If they sent these logs straight to /dev/null, what harm would it do to their business? Or, for a less extreme scenario, if they did whatever statistical analysis they care to do and then securely wiped those logs in say, one week, how would that harm them in any way?

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:00PM (#30826026) Homepage Journal

    Normally I'm not one to bother responding to ACs, but what in the hell are you talking about?

    Yahoo handed over Chinese bloggers.

    Google has only handed over private info on their users once and that was after REPEATED court orders. They didn't even comply with the first order from a judge.

    The info they eventually handed over was a ring of users sharing child pornography on Orkut.

    I've literally had this exact same conversation several times on Slashdot before, and not once has anyone provided a single ounce of proof that Google hands over your private data, save for that one instance.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @06:13PM (#30826168)

    Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

    How many people do that? Only a fraction of the population plays facebook apps. Only a fraction of those people start filling out surveys. Only a fraction still of those people remaining actually complete and submit the surveys (with the most intrusive questions/conditions/fine prints always being discovered near the end of it). Plus, some of those people who just stopped filling out those surveys midway through -- just end up sending some cash through pay pal. So what's the remaining percentage of actual people that have given up their privacy? 1%? 2%? Do you want those people to really speak for all of us? Personally, I can tell you they don't speak for me.

    Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily.

    Where it comes to privacy, there are no "average" users. A fourteen year old kid, for instance, may have no qualms about compromising his privacy to large corporations in return for shiny useless things, but that same kid will scream bloody murder if his parents or the officials of his school start going through his locker, his bag, his computer, or his room.

    Same goes for every possible demographics out there. Everyone wants privacy from someone. It may be from their spouse, their ex, their family, their mother or brother-in-law, their clergy, their neighbor, their boss, their cops, the city, the state, the large corporations, the scammers, the telemarketers, the banks, the schools, or the homeless guy who's constantly digging through your garbage, but at least we all want privacy from *someone*.

    Now, we may not all agree on who we want privacy from, but that doesn't matter. A privacy law that protects your credit report from large corporations or from your employer can also be the same law that protects my credit report from my brother-in-law and many scammers. And ultimately, we may not be worried about the same things, and we certainly don't behave the same way, but we have a common interest in creating strong privacy laws that protect everyone (and not just the people at the very top).

  • Re:Privacy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Haxzaw (1502841) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @07:46PM (#30826980)
    Google deletes MOST of the IP info after 9 months. The search providers don't need to keep data at all but, but for ads and user convenience, they do keep it.
  • by LordLucless (582312) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @02:04AM (#30829046)
    Because the police have extra-ordinary powers, and they require permission to use them? If an advertiser placed a tap on your phoneline, or a keylogger on your computer, you can bet they'd be in violation of the law. Police, on the other hand, are legally allowed to do these things, once they have permission.

    Dealing with advertisers is entirely your choice. They only have control over the information you give them. If you choose to give them your information, that's your choice. If you don't like their terms, don't do business with them. The government does not exist to shape the world the way you'd like it to be.

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet

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