Google agreed to keep logs of requests for 18 months
Google agreed to reduce the retention time of user searches after recent criticism from European freedom advocates.
A working group consisting of employees responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of data in the European Union last month sent a letter to Google asking them to explain their policy of storing search queries in conjunction with users' IP addresses. Now Google’s chief privacy consultant, Peter Fleischer, has agreed to shorten the data retention limit. Here is what he wrote in a written reply to the European working group:
Taking into account the attitude of the working group, we announce a new policy: now search logs will be deleted from our servers after 18 months of storage - instead of the previously set period of 18 to 24 months.
In March of this year, Google reduced the data retention time to two years (before that, the logs were stored for an unlimited period) in an attempt to reassure human rights defenders. The company was in a difficult situation, as the US authorities demanded a longer data retention period (referring to corporate law and anti-terrorism law), and European countries required different terms.
Now Google has only to wait for the decision of the working group - what if they are no longer satisfied with the data retention period of 18 months?