by Joseph Weisenthal

Filed Under:
privacy, search

ask, google, microsoft, yahoo

Search Engines Compete On Accuracy, Privacy Policies

from the who-is-the-private-ist? dept

With Google taking some hits over its data retention practices, its competitors are hoping that they can use the privacy issue to their advantage. Microsoft, Yahoo and Ask have all updated or clarified their policies to give users more control over what data is kept and for how long. It's great to see that the search engines are responsive on this issue, but it's hard to imagine that these moves will have a big effect on the competitive landscape. Consumers express a preference for better privacy when asked about it in studies and surveys, but they often fail to put these preferences into practice when choosing products. Of course, even if users don't switch from one site to another, the net effect of this oneupmanship should result in better privacy, if these companies stick to their word.

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  • identicon
    insomniac, 23 Jul 2007 @ 8:27pm

    Thats a big if.... Mircosoft sticking to their word thats an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kristiyan Kirchev, 24 Jul 2007 @ 5:14am

    And what guarantee there is, that those search engines will indeed erase user-data after the specific period of time? The way I see it, any search engine giant can promise you to delete your private search preferences information after a period of time, but there is no way for you to confirm that had happened. I mean there's no real way of control over what providers do with their gathered data once it sinks into their stadium-sized server rooms.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      %username, 24 Jul 2007 @ 5:55am

      We're talking about the privacy policy, that's all we have to go on when making a consumer decision, not an interal audit!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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