Feeds

MS: We'll slash search data retention if big boys play ball

Anonymise after six months...

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Microsoft will only agree to European demands to slash the time it keeps online search query data if Google and Yahoo! adopt the same methods.

The software giant said yesterday it supports the Article 29 Working Party’s guidelines for anonymisation on the web, before adding that such rules can only be adopted if they are introduced industry-wide.

The Article 29 Working Party is a group of European Union bureaucrats who have been pushing to get search engine firm’s to purge their user records after six months.

But, while MS claims to agree in principle with such a move, the company is refusing to budge until its rivals cut back the amount of time they keep private data.

Microsoft also pointed out that it only holds about two per cent of the online search market in Europe, so it doesn’t really have the muscle to go it alone with privacy web standards.

Here’s a statement from Redmond chief strategist Peter Cullen in which he pleads with the big boys to play nice.

[I]t is imperative that all search companies adopt the same standard to better protect people's privacy. We agree with the Article 29 Working Party's call for a common industry standard for search data anonymisation methods and timeframes to help protect people's privacy.

We've evaluated the multiple uses of search data and believe that we can, in time, move to a six month timeframe while retaining our strong method of anonymisation.

However, we don't believe that Microsoft moving alone will offer the level of consumer protection desired by the Working Party. While we're certainly working to grow our market share, today Microsoft has only two per cent of the search market in Europe and a small share globally.

We can't do it alone — all search companies must embrace high privacy standards to provide greater protection for European consumers.

Google has long argued that keeping the data meant it could offer improved services and cope better with combating fraud and spam.

However, in September this year Google agreed to half the amount of time it retains IP addresses and user data garnered from search query logs.

The internet kingpin said it would anonymise IP addresses on its server logs after nine months “to address regulatory concerns to take another step to improve privacy for our users”.

But Mountain View later admitted to El Reg that it will only "change some of the bits" in the user IPs stored in its server logs. So as the plan stands now, it will leave cookie data alone. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
US Supreme Court supremo rakes Aereo lawman in oral arguments
Antenna-array content streamers: 'Ruling against us could dissipate the cloud'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.