Bing Becomes More Privacy Oriented
Article by George Norman
On 26 Jan 2010
Remember Erich Schmidt’s comment that spurred a lot of privacy related controversy? The comment which lead Mozilla founding member Asa Dotzler to recommend users switch from Google to Bing, just because Microsoft’s search engine has a better privacy policy? And because Dotzler did this, Microsoft gave him a hat tip by featuring a firefox (technically a red panda) on Bing’s homepage. Then Google released a slide which said that the company is really, really focused on privacy.

Okay, so you do remember – and if you don’t, just click the links for a quick refresher. It seems that Bing aims to prove that it really cares about the user’s privacy. In this regard Bing decided to change its data retention policies. Bing Privacy Manager Reese Solberg provides the details:

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“Specifically, we are reducing the amount of time we store IP addresses from searchers to 6 months. Currently we keep that information for 18 months before we delete it. Generally, when Bing receives search data we do a few things: first, we take steps to separate your account information (such as email or phone number) from other information (what the query was, for example). Then, after 18 months we take the additional step of deleting the IP address and any other cross session IDs associated with the query. Under the new policy, we will continue to take all the steps we applied previously – but now we will remove the IP address completely at 6 months, instead of 18 months. We think this gives us the right balance between making search better for consumers (we use the data to improve the service we offer) and providing greater protection for the privacy of our users.”

There is even a chart that puts the explanation presented above in visual format:



If you’re anxious to get started with Bing, just click here.



Tags: Bing, Microsoft, Search Engine, Privacy, Data retention
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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