>i>Under the new policy, both the IP address and cookie information will be anonymized at a point 18-24 months after the log files are generated, "unless [Google is] legally required to retain the data for longer." The new policy, once implemented, will be applied retroactively.
Google will still keep search data for 18-24 months before anonymizing it, in part due to concerns that governments around the world will eventually require this in short order anyway. And the program won't begin until the end of 2007, and possibly even later. The new policy is a "difficult initiative to implement," Google said in a statement, but the company believes that the effort will pay off in increased user trust and less suspicion from privacy advocates.