After a complaint from the European Union, Google has decided to limit the time it stores user data to 18 months:
The world's top provider of Web search services said late on Monday that it is ready to curtail the time it stores user data to a year-and-a-half, the low end of an 18 to 24 month period it had originally proposed to regulators in March.
But Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel said in a letter addressed to the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party in Brussels that any regulatory requirement to keep data for less than 18 months would undermine Google's services.
"After considering the Working Party's concerns, we are announcing a new policy: to anonymize our search server logs after 18 months, rather than the previously established period of 18 to 24 months," he said in the letter dated June 10. The server logs refer to software that stores Web search histories.
"We believe that we can still address our legitimate interests in security, innovation and anti-fraud efforts with this shorter period," Fleischer added.