Feeds

Google in cookie concession to dead people

Privacy in the hereafter

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Hoping to appease privacy advocates who've come down hard on its data retention policies, Google has made a practically meaningless change to its cookie policy.

The world's most popular search engine will soon issue browser cookies that automatically expire if you don't come back to the site for two years.

El Reg estimates that most people who don't return to Google after two years are either dead or confined to maximum security prison - most likely dead.

"After listening to feedback from our users and from privacy advocates, we've concluded that it would be a good thing for privacy to significantly shorten the lifetime of our cookies - as long as we could find a way to do so without artificially forcing users to re-enter their basic preferences at arbitrary points in time. And this is why we're announcing a new cookie policy," Google global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer writes on the company's official blog.

Sometime "in the coming months", according to Fleischer, Google will introduce cookies that "auto-expire" for users who don't return for two years and "auto-renew" for active users. The "auto-renew" bit means that anytime you visit the site, the two year clock starts all over again. Or as Fleischer puts it, "regular Google users will have their cookies auto-renew, so that their preferences are not lost".

Existing Google cookies were set expire sometime in 2038. "We were mindful of the fact that users can always go to their browsers to change their cookie management settings, e.g. to delete all cookies, delete specific cookies, or accept certain types of cookies (like first-party cookies) but reject others (like third-party cookies)," says Fleischer.

The way we see it, even after the policy change, the onus is still on users to manage their own cookies. Unless they kick the bucket. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Internet Security Threat Report 2014
An overview and analysis of the year in global threat activity: identify, analyze, and provide commentary on emerging trends in the dynamic threat landscape.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.