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 European Union Questions Google's Data Retention Policy

EU's Article 29 Working Party, which is charged with providing expert opinion on issues of data protection, wrote to Google and said that despite recent changes in the search engine's data-retention policy, Google still does not meet EU standards for data retention.

In response to the letter Google decided to make the data it stores about its users anonymous in the server logs after 18 months (previously Google had said it would make the data anonymous after 18 to 24 months). The Article 29 Working Party said that it still needs to analyze Google's response to see whether it's an acceptable solution, and has asked Google several new questions about technologies that they use to collect search information.

The working group also attempts to deal with search engines in general and scrutinize their activities from a data-protection point of view.

Also trouble for Google in the USA: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened an antitrust investigation into Google Inc.'s proposed 3.1 billion dollar purchase of ad-management technology company DoubleClick Inc. The Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy groups had previously asked the FTC to investigate the privacy implications of the deal. The groups fear that the combination of Google's search history and DoubleClick's tracking of web sites visited would "give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world."

  • May 28, 2007: Lohr, Steve, Google deal said to bring U.S. scrutiny, CNet:
    "The Federal Trade Commission has opened a preliminary antitrust investigation into Google's planned $3.1 billion purchase of the online advertising company DoubleClick, an industry executive briefed on the agency's plans said Monday. "




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