In an interesting move, Microsoft has said that it plans to Bing users’ IP addresses after six months. It currently deletes IP addresses only after eighteen months, but has bowed to pressure from the Article 29 Data Protection Party, a European Union advisory group comprised of national privacy regulators from each of the twenty-seven EU member states.
The change should be implemented within the next twelve to eighteen months. Currently, Bing takes search data and separates a user’s personal information, like email, from non-personal information, like a search query. The process will continue to work in this manner, with the exception of the decrease in time it takes Microsoft to delete IP addresses.
Article 29 has been critical of search engine companies in the past, specifying how long they can keep European users’ data. It has said that search engine companies should only keep data for six months and must treat IP addresses as personal information. Furthermore, companies must obey even if they are not based in the EU.
Currently, Google keeps data for nine months and Yahoo three months.
Via Ars Technica, image via Microsoft.