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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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  • Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @04:55PM (#30825130) Journal

    After Google's CEO's comments about privacy is only wanted by wrongdoers [slashdot.org] and their massive influence all over the internet, mobile phones and soon desktop I'm starting to think Bing might be better. Like the summary states, Google says its decisions "aren't conditioned on what competitors do" and they want to do what they want. Seems like they got huge and got piss in their head.

    When credit is due, I have to give it. Bing is done correctly, and Google seems like the falling star it once was. We want privacy - give it to us.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mapkinase (958129) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:04PM (#30825284) Homepage Journal

    Google is increasingly scaring me. Eric Schmidt is the CEO of New America Foundation - a political think tank. Google's active involvement into politics reminds me of Khodorkovsky - Russian nouveau riche with greasily trail and political aspirations cut short by more ruthless political opponent.

    It is unclear now what does Google have in mind, but it will have bad outcome either for us or for them.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nadaka (224565) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:06PM (#30825308)

    Shortly thereafter it was demonstrated that right-doers could use some privacy as well [slashdot.org].

  • Re:Privacy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:07PM (#30825330) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft handed over search data without being forced to do so.

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/government/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=177102061 [informationweek.com]

    Google was the only major search engine to fight to protect your privacy.

    Google also fought court orders in Brazil to protect privacy for their Orkut users.

    I can understand the logic of a statement that only criminals have something to hide, but in practice, Google has done more to protect your privacy than Microsoft. That is just comparing them as search companies. I won't even get into Windows and Microsoft products "phoning home" without telling you, and the latest rumors that Microsoft included a backdoor in Windows 7 for the NSA.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:12PM (#30825394) Journal

    Even if they are not, it's a good thing. Actually the first thing I think EU has done correctly since my country joined it in early 2000. You also have to remember that Google also does business in EU area, but all of the data is stored in their US datacenters (which is quite gray area in EU law, but they are headquarted on Ireland for tax purposes so it maybe different law).

    What I mostly care about is that my data is not stored in countries overseas to me (those in US can compare this to storing your data in China or other country in Asia, it's quite relevant) and that whatever data they save is deleted quite soon. EU countries are actually really strict about this. I hated when my workplace assigned me to make sure we complied to all the privacy terms and hand specific terms visible to users on what we save and for how long, but now that I think of it, it is really for peoples benefit.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @05:16PM (#30825452)

    One valid reason for privacy is to protect you from a form of harassment, stereotyping or prejudice.

    For example, I have views that are unpopular and some people hate with a burning passion. I still find it valuable to state those and to discuss them, because I think they are valuable. But if someone could systematize my views and track me, they would find life much more easy. Rather than seeing 50 posts that piss them off and threaten to punch holes in the story they tell, they could instead reply to everyone "This is X living at X who is a moron" and lobby my employer to sack me.

    The Google CEO totally misses this point. Because it's a "free society", people have the capacity to "individually punish" someone a little, collectively adding up to a lot, which means the rapid quashing of unpopular views if there is no privacy. This is based on the concept that public life really has the form of an "information war" where everyone is out to convince other people by coming together with followers and presenting your arguments and criticising the others, and those with unpopular views really have to live a form of "guerilla warfare". No privacy would mean either the end to or an extreme hardening of all "information wars".

    There would no longer be "part-time members of the resistance", you would have to choose which army to join in both thought, words and your entire life.

  • Re:Privacy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:07AM (#30829876)

    CNBC's quote is useless without knowing what the actual question was, and they edited that out of their video and accompanying text. Schmidt has since contended that it was a question about activity online that is considered illegal. Without the full text of the questions leading up to this quote, we'll never really know.

    You may feel like I'm being too nice to Schmidt, but if you've ever been interviewed by a journalist, and seen that text go into a spin piece, you'll know what I'm talking about. They deliberately set up weird lines of questioning to try to get you to say things that look sensational out of context, and then use their power of selective editing to make that a reality. You have to treat the press like getting a deposition from a hostile lawyer, since they can act much the same way when they are writing a spin piece.

    For example, what if the lines were:
    Q: "What if an internet user has an addition to illegal drugs or child pornagraphy? Should they search on Google to look for help?"
    A: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place,..."

    Now, the actual line of questions was probably not really that biased, but hopefully you get my point.

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