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Survey: Google, MSN, AOL, Yahoo say what information they keep

Survey: Google, MSN, AOL, Yahoo say what information they keep
Survey: Google, MSN, AOL, Yahoo say what information they keep



So we've been working on a survey of search engines, and what data they 
keep and don't keep. We asked Google, MSN, AOL, and Yahoo the same 
questions:

- What information do you record about searches? Do you store IP 
addresses linked to search terms and types of searches (image vs. Web)?
- Given a list of search terms, can you produce a list of people
who searched for that term, identified by IP address and/or cookie value?
- Have you ever been asked by an attorney in a civil suit to produce 
such a list of people? A prosecutor in a criminal case?
- Given an IP address or cookie value, can you produce a list of the 
terms searched by the user of that IP address or cookie value?
- Have you ever been asked by an attorney in a civil suit to produce 
such a list of search terms? A prosecutor in a criminal case?
- Do you ever purge these data, or set an expiration date of for 
instance 2 years or 5 years?
- Do you ever anticipate offering search engine users a way to delete 
that data?

Their verbatim responses are here:
http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-6034626.html 

And a FAQ and analysis of the shortcomings of the relevant federal 
privacy law, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, is here:
http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-6034666.html 

-Declan
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