Google Shortens Data Retention to 9 Months

Quickly, as I’m rushing out the door to teach: Google has announced it will (reluctantly) shorten the amount of time it holds fully-identifiable information, and will “anonymize” search records after 9 months, rather than the current 18 months.

This is big news…more later….


  1. Google’s blog announcement reports that the company will “anonymize IP addresses on our server logs after 9 months.” IPs only. Google makes no mention of anonymizing cookie IDs (as in the previous 18 mo. policy) or any other type of fully-identifiable information. Also they give no date of activation or indicate if they will retroactively apply it to previous server logs.

  2. In some countries like India, Thailand or Iran, speaking of annoying or blasphemous words to the King, Chief Judge, High Priests and other High People can lead to defamation charges. Now with blogs and online media such arrests are made easy.

    I received a news report from India on an arrest for the “cyber crime” of speaking annoying words through a computer. An ex-Bombay High Court Judge was apparently annoyed by a passage appearing on a blog and an arrest was ordered.

    The report says that Google identified IP address directly to police (no Court order). In 2008 you may remember the case of Rahul Krishnakumar Vaid but I thought Google had learnt some lessons from doing that. But now, it seems Google is releasing IP addresses to Indian police again without Court orders.

    Why so, Google ? Have you forgotten the lessons from the Vaid incident ?

    Google says don’t be evil, but are themselves reckless with your private identifying information and hands it to indian cops, most of whom are known to be corrupt.

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