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Microsoft To Delete Bing IP Data After 6 Months

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the can't-see-you-anymore dept.

Microsoft 101

adeelarshad82 writes "Bowing to pressure from the EU, Microsoft said it would discard all data collected via its Bing search engine after six months. (Microsoft's announcement contains a timeline for what data gets anonymized or deleted when.) Until now, the software giant has retained the data for 18 months. Over the past two years, however, Internet companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google have made efforts to reduce the amount of time that information is stored. Microsoft's policies will remain the same, but now, the company will delete the IP address and other info after six months. Back in December 2008, Microsoft said it would reduce its retention time to six months, but only if its rivals followed suit. At the time, Yahoo anonymized its data after 13 months, and Google did the same after 9 months. A week later, Yahoo cut that time down to three months, but Google said its decisions are not conditioned on what competitors do."

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Privacy (5, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825130)

After Google's CEO's comments about privacy is only wanted by wrongdoers [slashdot.org] and their massive influence all over the internet, mobile phones and soon desktop I'm starting to think Bing might be better. Like the summary states, Google says its decisions "aren't conditioned on what competitors do" and they want to do what they want. Seems like they got huge and got piss in their head.

When credit is due, I have to give it. Bing is done correctly, and Google seems like the falling star it once was. We want privacy - give it to us.

Re:Privacy (3, Insightful)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825206)

One of my professors last semestor asked us a similar question: "Do you want your DNA to be stored indefinitely on a national database?" To which I said good lord no! I was then asked what I have or might have to hide in the future and I said nothing, merely my privacy and my genetic code. I added as a joke Enjoy the terrorists making bio weapons tailored to your DNA.

Re:Privacy (3, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825300)

by Uranium-238

[...] national database [...] lord [...] genetic code. [...] terrorists [...] bio weapons [...] DNA

This is the NSA. Please put down the donut and remain at your desk until the nice officers arrive.

Re:Privacy (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825422)

They don't have the manual resources to be that tone-deaf.

Re:Privacy (1)

indi0144 (1264518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827230)

No, you post something about Bing deleting logs after a short period of time and minutes later you post something about a proxy to anon you for Google, Am I the only one seeing the pattern here?

Re:Privacy (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827312)

I think so, I don't understand what you are getting at.

Re:Privacy (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825578)

Meh, I haven't had a call in 12 years.

Re:Privacy (1)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825632)

Hahaha, very nice! Made me laugh.

Re:Privacy (1)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825664)

Just too bad I live in the UK huh?!

Re:Privacy (2, Funny)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825684)

Doesn't matter. We'll just render you to Slovakia or something :)

Re:Privacy (1)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826546)

Awww :(

Re:Privacy (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825514)

My answer to that would be "lots", but not because I am doing anything wrong or expect to do something wrong in the future.

One of the problems with DNA is that it is circumstantial evidence by nature, but the juries are often too clueless to understand that. The fact of the matter is, odds are almost 100% that at some point in my lifetime, my DNA will be present at or near the scene of a crime. Likewise for every person on this earth. You leave your DNA and fingerprints when you sit on a seat on the bus, when you rest your hands on the counter at Target, when you eat at a restaurant, etc. Given how broadly your DNA gets spread and given the rate of crime in the world, if the DNA of non-criminals were in a national database, the odds of being tied incorrectly to a crime approaches 100% fairly rapidly.

Now if DNA were only allowed in very narrow circumstances, that might be different---if the only use were in rape trials, and only DNA obtained from bodily fluids, the risk of false positives would be much smaller. Even then, though, the risk that the rules would change to allow DNA to be used in a broader range of cases would be looming overhead.

That's not even counting the risk of false positive [guardian.co.uk] "matches", which given current testing methodologies is staggeringly high [nytimes.com] .

So what do I have to hide? Simple. My ordinary, irrelevant daily activities that under normal circumstances would not tie me to any crime because of a lack of any connection to that crime sufficient to result in a DNA search but that in the presence of a national database might easily lead to a conviction on purely circumstantial evidence resulting out of those ordinary, innocent activities.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825666)

Agreed, the correct answer is 'lots'. Not because I'm planning to do anything wrong- but rather the government may make some things illegal in the future that I consider essential freedoms I refuse to give up.
It's not that I'm really bothered if the current authorities have my DNA, I'm more worried what these same authorities will look like in 10, 20 or 40 years time. Or tomorrow.

Re:Privacy (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826612)

I wouldn't worry about the terrorists. I would worry about health insurance companies. They can at least lobby the government. Sorry Timmy we can't insure you as you have a gene that indicates a predisposition to cancer and that would just hurt our bottom line.

Re:Privacy (1)

spacepigninja (1689230) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826770)

"Do you want your DNA to be stored indefinitely on a national database?"

a more useful question might have been 'would you be prepared to have your DNA on a database if it would act as a deterrent for crime and help bring criminals to justice'.

I realise this does not apply to Google, who seem to have brought new meaning to the phrase

'information is power'

lets just hope the don't blackmail me with my porn habits (over 60s is normal right?)

Re:Privacy (1)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30829996)

I suppose you're right, if the database would only be for that purpose, then I wouldn't mind as much. As for your habits....ye that's normal. I shudder to think of the day Google starts blackmailing or something you for your search habits...

Re:Privacy (3, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825220)

We want privacy - give it to us.

Who is this we you speak of? Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily. Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. Like Mafia Wars for instance; basically nothing more than a database with a shitty HTML front end that offers no real game play or player interactions yet people eat it up, allowing companies like Zynga to scrap profile data or serve them "customer surveys" or "trail offers" and "free products"... People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825718)

I would hope the "we" is the same folks who read slashdot. It's the tech folks who are supposed to watch for these things, and help the "average internet user" figure out with tube to use.

Re:Privacy (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825808)

People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

On the other hand, the fact that so many are doing it would seem to indicate that they see value for themselves in this. However, this belief is founded on the assumption that people are aware of how their data is used in the first place; or that they think it's significant. For most Internet users, neither is true.

Re:Privacy (2, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825844)

We want privacy - give it to us.

Who is this we you speak of? Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily. Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. Like Mafia Wars for instance; basically nothing more than a database with a shitty HTML front end that offers no real game play or player interactions yet people eat it up, allowing companies like Zynga to scrap profile data or serve them "customer surveys" or "trail offers" and "free products"... People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

One question seems to be largely unanswered: of what value is months-old data, especially when many of the IP addresses contained therein are dynamic and therefore no longer tied to a specific user or machine? What is this data worth to them that there is any difficulty in convincing them to let it go? If they sent these logs straight to /dev/null, what harm would it do to their business? Or, for a less extreme scenario, if they did whatever statistical analysis they care to do and then securely wiped those logs in say, one week, how would that harm them in any way?

Re:Privacy (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30828166)

One question seems to be largely unanswered: of what value is months-old data

I don't think that's largely unanswered actually - you see, month-old data is "important" to higher-ups. Being able to see data and trends makes them understand what does and does not work from a marketing perspective, and drives their decision about where to go next. Do we keep these surveys? Do we change ad providers? How can we better reach our market? This information is invaluable, and coupled with the fact that it is readily FREE is incentive to mine it and try to discover trends and correlation that can lead to more people clicking a banner, following a link, signing up for an offer, etc.

Re:Privacy (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30831558)

One question seems to be largely unanswered: of what value is months-old data

I don't think that's largely unanswered actually - you see, month-old data is "important" to higher-ups. Being able to see data and trends makes them understand what does and does not work from a marketing perspective, and drives their decision about where to go next. Do we keep these surveys? Do we change ad providers? How can we better reach our market? This information is invaluable, and coupled with the fact that it is readily FREE is incentive to mine it and try to discover trends and correlation that can lead to more people clicking a banner, following a link, signing up for an offer, etc.

I guess what I don't understand is that aggregate, non-identifiable data should be able to fulfill the needs you mention. Now, I admit I am no statistician and could certainly be wrong about that, but I've yet to see the case made that they really need personally identifiable information to fulfill those needs.

Re:Privacy (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30836428)

Well that depends on what personally identifiable means to you. Does your location count? If so, thats part of your personal information that can be used to judge regional trends. What about age? You can form demographics. E-mail address? While broad, it could be used to suggest that more people with GMail accounts are signing up, so maybe you want to partner with more Google-geared sites. Phone numbers can be used to determine location information as well as what carrier you are with. IP address again goes back to regional information and can also be used to know your ISP if that data is mined soon enough.

One piece at a time, this isn't really a big deal perhaps, but taken in aggregate and plotted to various marketing methods, this information forms the basis of what many companies do with their money.

Re:Privacy (2, Funny)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825874)

We want privacy - give it to us.

Who is this we you speak of?

Obviously we can't tell you that. It's private!

Re:Privacy (2, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826168)

Just look at the success of some of these games on social networking sites. People fill that crap out trading their privacy for an increase in an arbitrary value in some shitty "app".

How many people do that? Only a fraction of the population plays facebook apps. Only a fraction of those people start filling out surveys. Only a fraction still of those people remaining actually complete and submit the surveys (with the most intrusive questions/conditions/fine prints always being discovered near the end of it). Plus, some of those people who just stopped filling out those surveys midway through -- just end up sending some cash through pay pal. So what's the remaining percentage of actual people that have given up their privacy? 1%? 2%? Do you want those people to really speak for all of us? Personally, I can tell you they don't speak for me.

Your average internet user really doesn't seem to give a damn as long as they can get what they want quickly and easily.

Where it comes to privacy, there are no "average" users. A fourteen year old kid, for instance, may have no qualms about compromising his privacy to large corporations in return for shiny useless things, but that same kid will scream bloody murder if his parents or the officials of his school start going through his locker, his bag, his computer, or his room.

Same goes for every possible demographics out there. Everyone wants privacy from someone. It may be from their spouse, their ex, their family, their mother or brother-in-law, their clergy, their neighbor, their boss, their cops, the city, the state, the large corporations, the scammers, the telemarketers, the banks, the schools, or the homeless guy who's constantly digging through your garbage, but at least we all want privacy from *someone*.

Now, we may not all agree on who we want privacy from, but that doesn't matter. A privacy law that protects your credit report from large corporations or from your employer can also be the same law that protects my credit report from my brother-in-law and many scammers. And ultimately, we may not be worried about the same things, and we certainly don't behave the same way, but we have a common interest in creating strong privacy laws that protect everyone (and not just the people at the very top).

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826738)

It's time we made some changes because ISP's are becoming overtly hostile to their users.
plain http is not good enough anymore.

I spent the day working round a block on a file on a uk website the file transfer started and after 34k it stopped.

A friend has a website and the easiest way to send me a file was to stick it on his server. Again the file failed to transfer using eftp the file was transfered full speed.

For eircom customers thepiratebay.org is a no go blocked entirely.

Seems that if we wish to maintain the freedoms we have had over the years on the net we should be using encrypted protocols where ever possible and default to https

Of course most people don't realise how the Internet is being changed and its up to people like us to ensure it remains a valuable resource and not a government controlled marketing wet dream

Re:Privacy (2, Informative)

mitchell_pgh (536538) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825270)

From the article: "Bowing to pressure from the EU"

I wouldn't say that Microsoft is exactly doing this by their own accord.

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825394)

Even if they are not, it's a good thing. Actually the first thing I think EU has done correctly since my country joined it in early 2000. You also have to remember that Google also does business in EU area, but all of the data is stored in their US datacenters (which is quite gray area in EU law, but they are headquarted on Ireland for tax purposes so it maybe different law).

What I mostly care about is that my data is not stored in countries overseas to me (those in US can compare this to storing your data in China or other country in Asia, it's quite relevant) and that whatever data they save is deleted quite soon. EU countries are actually really strict about this. I hated when my workplace assigned me to make sure we complied to all the privacy terms and hand specific terms visible to users on what we save and for how long, but now that I think of it, it is really for peoples benefit.

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825284)

Google is increasingly scaring me. Eric Schmidt is the CEO of New America Foundation - a political think tank. Google's active involvement into politics reminds me of Khodorkovsky - Russian nouveau riche with greasily trail and political aspirations cut short by more ruthless political opponent.

It is unclear now what does Google have in mind, but it will have bad outcome either for us or for them.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825512)

Eric Schmidt is the CEO of New America Foundation

Wikipedia says,

Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, is chairman of the foundation's board of directors.

I'm not sure that changer you point at all. I just wanted to correct that fact.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825298)

You know I really hate to say I called it. Google got too big to live up to it's core values.

Of course, by "anonymized" data, Microsoft means they expect to be hacked and lose the data within 6 months, tops.

Re:Privacy (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825330)

Microsoft handed over search data without being forced to do so.

http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/government/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=177102061 [informationweek.com]

Google was the only major search engine to fight to protect your privacy.

Google also fought court orders in Brazil to protect privacy for their Orkut users.

I can understand the logic of a statement that only criminals have something to hide, but in practice, Google has done more to protect your privacy than Microsoft. That is just comparing them as search companies. I won't even get into Windows and Microsoft products "phoning home" without telling you, and the latest rumors that Microsoft included a backdoor in Windows 7 for the NSA.

Selective privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825700)

Google has selective privacy - it protects some and uncovers the others. According to which criteria is not disclosed. Make your judgment. MS and Yahoo are even worse.

Re:Selective privacy (3, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826026)

Normally I'm not one to bother responding to ACs, but what in the hell are you talking about?

Yahoo handed over Chinese bloggers.

Google has only handed over private info on their users once and that was after REPEATED court orders. They didn't even comply with the first order from a judge.

The info they eventually handed over was a ring of users sharing child pornography on Orkut.

I've literally had this exact same conversation several times on Slashdot before, and not once has anyone provided a single ounce of proof that Google hands over your private data, save for that one instance.

Re:Privacy (2, Informative)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826178)

Microsoft handed over search data without being forced to do so.

Oh please! According the your cited article, Microsoft gave away "aggregated query data, not search results, that did not include any personally identifiable information". Google does this all the time! [google.com]

I also equate being subpoenaed to being forced.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825332)

You know what they say when you piss against the wind...

Re:Privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825452)

One valid reason for privacy is to protect you from a form of harassment, stereotyping or prejudice.

For example, I have views that are unpopular and some people hate with a burning passion. I still find it valuable to state those and to discuss them, because I think they are valuable. But if someone could systematize my views and track me, they would find life much more easy. Rather than seeing 50 posts that piss them off and threaten to punch holes in the story they tell, they could instead reply to everyone "This is X living at X who is a moron" and lobby my employer to sack me.

The Google CEO totally misses this point. Because it's a "free society", people have the capacity to "individually punish" someone a little, collectively adding up to a lot, which means the rapid quashing of unpopular views if there is no privacy. This is based on the concept that public life really has the form of an "information war" where everyone is out to convince other people by coming together with followers and presenting your arguments and criticising the others, and those with unpopular views really have to live a form of "guerilla warfare". No privacy would mean either the end to or an extreme hardening of all "information wars".

There would no longer be "part-time members of the resistance", you would have to choose which army to join in both thought, words and your entire life.

Re:Privacy (1)

Antiocheian (859870) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825626)

The best thing in Bing is that it doesn't make you feel you are in bed with Microsoft. No Tahoma (the windows system font, typical of Microsoft and Windows-centric sites), no Microsoft logo, no Windows sales or XBOX references.

I like it and I consider making it my default search provider in Firefox.

Re:Privacy (1)

Tonyzz (1725004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825732)

couldn't agree more

Re:Privacy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825876)

Ah, there's the troll sopssa we were all expecting. Check his history. Blatant Anti-Google / Anti-Open Source / Pro Microsoft.

Re:Privacy (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827018)

People can and do have differing opinions. I'm not a fan of all things Google, I think that a lot of open source software (well, and just software in general) is garbage, and I generally like Microsoft.

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827028)

Was this an ironic retort to my AC post just above yours? =p

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30828176)

GP is not a troll. Those are all valid positions to have. Neither google nor open source has fed my kids. Working on MS tech has allowed me to put food on the table.

Re:Privacy (3, Informative)

Frater 219 (1455) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825942)

After Google's CEO's comments about privacy is only wanted by wrongdoers

Except, of course, that he never said that. He was asked in an interview whether users should consider Google as a "trusted friend" -- and he said no. He said that if you're doing something that you don't want anyone to know about, doing it on Google is a bad idea ... since Google is just as subject to U.S. law, including the USA PATRIOT Act, as any other company is.

He didn't say that only wrongdoers want privacy and that everyone should trust Google. He said that if you want perfect privacy, you can't get it from Google, because the law doesn't allow it. That's pretty much the opposite!

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826518)

Also, Google also deletes IP data after something like a few months and so it's been doing so for a lot longer than Bing/MS Live Search/whatever else they called it.

Re:Privacy (2, Insightful)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826980)

Google deletes MOST of the IP info after 9 months. The search providers don't need to keep data at all but, but for ads and user convenience, they do keep it.

Re:Privacy (4, Informative)

olden (772043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827168)

According to PCWorld [pcworld.com] and others [boingboing.net] , Eric Schmidt said: (my emphasis)

"I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place, but if you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines including Google do retain this information for some time, and it's important, for example that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act. It is possible that that information could be made available to the authorities."

Sorry, this does sound to me like one of those despicable and horribly misguided "if you have nothing to hide, why would you want privacy?" line.
I like Bruce Schneier's answer [schneier.com] .

Re:Privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30829876)

CNBC's quote is useless without knowing what the actual question was, and they edited that out of their video and accompanying text. Schmidt has since contended that it was a question about activity online that is considered illegal. Without the full text of the questions leading up to this quote, we'll never really know.

You may feel like I'm being too nice to Schmidt, but if you've ever been interviewed by a journalist, and seen that text go into a spin piece, you'll know what I'm talking about. They deliberately set up weird lines of questioning to try to get you to say things that look sensational out of context, and then use their power of selective editing to make that a reality. You have to treat the press like getting a deposition from a hostile lawyer, since they can act much the same way when they are writing a spin piece.

For example, what if the lines were:
Q: "What if an internet user has an addition to illegal drugs or child pornagraphy? Should they search on Google to look for help?"
A: "I think judgment matters. If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place,..."

Now, the actual line of questions was probably not really that biased, but hopefully you get my point.

Re:Privacy (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826676)

Yeah, and compared to the breaking wheel [wikipedia.org] , Waterboarding also sounds good.

But it’s still bad. There is no rule that one has to be good. They can just all be bad.
Which is this case.... is the case.

(But I agree, that that statement by Google really throws them down the ranks. I just have my doubts, because MS usually is a couple of steps more experienced in being evil. ;)

Re:Privacy -- ixquick (1)

olden (772043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826944)

Er, Bing might not be 'as worse' as Google anymore when it comes to privacy, but I definitely wouldn't say it's "done correctly" either.

You may want to check out ixquick [ixquick.com] , a meta-search engine that doesn't log your IP etc at all [ixquick.com] -- that surely beats deleting some info after some time in my book.
(better yet, ixquick is also available over SSL, in case you're concerned about your ISP snooping too... Oh, hello Comcast...)

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827192)

OH LOOK, ANOTHER TOOL ONLY READING THE SUMMARY.
Perhaps actually READ what context the quote was said next time.

Google don't give a damn what you do, all they care about is your interests for the sake of ads.
Don't like it? Don't Google, simple.

And if you seriously believe what Microsoft say at face value, you are really delusion.
Every bit of data associated with you will be kept for the sake of advertising just as much as Google.
They are using his quotes as an attack vector against them, it is all FUD and you damn well know it is, Microsoft haven't changed, they will never change.

Also, remind me, who was it that happily gave away your searches again?

Woot! (1)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825180)

Smart move Microsoft, even if it was due to pressure, not choice. This might entice a few people from Google to Bing. It certainly interests me.

Hah (3, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825222)

Google won't follow suit? The difference here is that Bing is a loss leader for Microsoft. People want more privacy? No problem sez Microsoft, whatever. It's not like they live off the data they mine from their search engine users (which last I heard was something like 4% of the total in the US).

For Google, government-mandated privacy regulations can really hurt the bottom line. That data and how long they can hold on to it is essentially their business model.

I actually wouldn't be surprised to see Microsoft become a champion of consumer privacy on the Internet later on... you know, for the children.

Re:Hah (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825434)

Boo-hoo.

It's like saying: it's easy for you to say "do not steal", but I am a thief and my livelihood depends on it.

Hands of my searches.

Re:Hah (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825444)

It's also an important part of their algorithms. You need some back data to help in analysis of the present. I think that 6 months puts the balance a little too much on the privacy side of the fence, ignoring the usability gains from more long-term storage.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825586)

What usability gains? Google works fine for me whether or not I accept cookies, enable javascript, use TOR or proxies, etc. In other words, it's just as usable when it's not tracking me.

Re:Hah (2, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825784)

You're a free-rider. The rest of us who let Google track us enable Google to better understand what people search for, for example recognizing as you narrow your search, that the last thing you settled on was what motivated the first set of keywords.

Of course, this only requires IP tracking. If you use Tor to get at Google, you're just paranoid.

Re:Hah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825788)

Your search results depend on other people's input. :>

The real reason for this announcement? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825262)

They are hosting Bing's IP data on their Danger servers, which naturally lose data about that often.

Microsoft is turning good?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825314)

That's how they're going to differentiate themselves in a mature saturated industry - by being good. Maybe Balmer was visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Yep. Microsoft is good. Google is Evil and Apple is on their way. We also have a black president - I think this is an alternate universe that I somehow got sent to. I'm a physicist at LHC and things were going great until recently .... I don't know. Geeze, My heart is just pitter patting - my right side of my body can feel it.

Why is it that advertisers (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825420)

Why is it that advertisers can do what the courts must allow police to do and thats to spy on us. Police need a court order to spy on what we do.Advertisers can spy on us in the names of making a profit for there shareholders. And if they copy the IP addresses its not anonymous,that ip address will point to a very real human unless ofcouser they ip address changes daily,but i would guess its isps like AOL that change the ip address all the time. My ip address hasn't changed in over a year. Anonuious means they cant tell if your a male,female,where you live,they know nothing about the person and it cant be guessed.

Re:Why is it that advertisers (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826004)

Why is it that advertisers can do what the courts must allow police to do and thats to spy on us. Police need a court order to spy on what we do.Advertisers can spy on us in the names of making a profit for there shareholders. And if they copy the IP addresses its not anonymous,that ip address will point to a very real human unless ofcouser they ip address changes daily,but i would guess its isps like AOL that change the ip address all the time. My ip address hasn't changed in over a year. Anonuious means they cant tell if your a male,female,where you live,they know nothing about the person and it cant be guessed.

Because we don't really believe in the principles to which we give lip service. The Constitution guarantees freedom of speech? Oh, well, that only applies to the government, your employer can still tell you what you may or may not say and punish you accordingly because we don't really believe in freedom of expression as a virtue in its own right, not in any real sense. If we did, then we'd expect adults to be able to handle and tolerate speech they dislike, perhaps countering it with speech of their own, instead of coddling their supposed right to never be offended. But we found a technicality by which the scope of the otherwise sound principle may be limited, and eager to limit it we are.

It's the same thing for privacy and the analogy to warrants that you have made.

Re:Why is it that advertisers (2, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30829046)

Because the police have extra-ordinary powers, and they require permission to use them? If an advertiser placed a tap on your phoneline, or a keylogger on your computer, you can bet they'd be in violation of the law. Police, on the other hand, are legally allowed to do these things, once they have permission.

Dealing with advertisers is entirely your choice. They only have control over the information you give them. If you choose to give them your information, that's your choice. If you don't like their terms, don't do business with them. The government does not exist to shape the world the way you'd like it to be.

Re:Why is it that advertisers (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30831602)

The government does not exist to shape the world the way you'd like it to be.

I think you just rejected most of modern politics.

Don't get me wrong, though. I'm with you on that one. The purpose of government is to safeguard the rights of the citizens. I just can't help but notice that very little of our politics center around this legitimate purpose. Usually it deviates because of some misguided notion of "fariness" or, a just plain desire to socially engineer society.

Re:Why is it that advertisers (1)

Stan92057 (737634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30832034)

I shouldn't have to do anything to keep my information private from advertisers,they don't provide me with any services,they do pay the web site owners to run ads but even then advertisers work for the producers of products and services. News papers have been advertising for over 100 years with out the ability to spy on the consumers and they did just fine. And i totally disagree with me expecting our government to shape and keep our nation the way it is and was meant to be,thats what made us so strong. IMO the internet has been changed from what it was ment to be, into a gloryfied JCPennys catalog,if your old enought to remember Mail order catalogs.

Re:Why is it that advertisers (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30836902)

You don't have to do anything. You have to not do something. If you don't like the way Google uses your information, refuse to visit Google or any site that uses Google ads. Advertisers work in the same way as the rest of the web. You hit their ad, they log you're IP address. Any other information they get is something you've provided them with when you use their services. If you don't like it, don't use them.

Looks like Yahoo is the search to use. (1)

BenFenner (981342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825474)

If you want privacy it looks like Yahoo is clearly the winner here. Thankfully you can use their engine and avoid the madness with http://www.altavista.com/ [altavista.com]
I never moved on to Google from Altavista and haven't seen a good reason to yet. Only reasons not to.

Re:Looks like Yahoo is the search to use. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30825670)

Actually Yahoo uses Bing now, so... Google is still the best choice.

A government protecting privacy? (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825532)

Well that's different!

Re:A government protecting privacy? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825836)

Well that's different!

Alternatively, it's a government getting possessive (over its citizen's data). Not quite the same thing...

This is hilarious (1)

Ziekheid (1427027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825642)

The EU is whining about Bling (which is a good thing for our privacy btw) but is also pressing for data retention laws in every EU country (ofcourse using "the war on terrorism" as its motto) and succeeded.
The EU suggested storing the data for as long as 24 months, the Netherlands for example went for 12 months and stepped back to 6 months eventually. Belgium is probably still going for 24 months.
Now I'm wondering who will hurt my privacy more, Bling, Google or the government with its archive of my travel data (new travel cards with rfid in the Netherlands), email data, phone data, medical data (EPD), fingerprint and for some DNA data and soon GPS data in a carbox to track the miles you make for miletaxes (Called Kilometerheffing in dutch).

Glass half full? (1)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825688)

More like glass half empty if you ask me. The summary should read "Microsoft To Keep Bing IP Data For 6 Months!"

Is this what passes for "respecting privacy" in 2010? Yes, I understand that this is an improvement over it's previous policy, but in my book, logging IPs at all is too much. I'm of the opinion that anonymity is, overall, a good thing, no matter how many "terrorists" use the Internet to look up bomb recipes.

I might be okay with private companies tracking your IP if not for the fact that these private companies are too easily and too often compelled to hand over such data to the government, and if the government's uses of that information were not so frequently frivolous and/or nefarious. Not to mention the cases where companies have been willing participants in illegal government snooping, such as with the AT&T wiretapping case. Can anybody honestly suggest that we should all just trust Microsoft (or Yahoo, Google, etc) to keep our private data safe? Heck, when they're not busy willingly handing it over to the government, they're selling it off as marketing fodder.

Call me old-fashioned, but I believe the government ought to need a proper search warrant if it wants to know everything I've searched for on Google for the past 6 months, or even how many times I've visited the site.

Re:Glass half full? (0, Offtopic)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825878)

I've never understood this "Government is evil, but corporations are good" mentality. You're fine with private companies keeping your data, so long as they don't give it to the government.

You do realize that both are made up of people? The main difference is that if the government pisses off people, the specific people in charge will be removed, whereas with a company, they have to piss off shareholders. No, wait, I'm sorry, there is no difference. Both want your money, both don't really care about you beyond getting that money. The more information they have on you, the easier it is to manipulate you, the easier their task becomes. At least the Government takes care of things like National Defence, and keeping roads in working order. Companies will give you whatever they damn well feel like giving you.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

bencoder (1197139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826074)

At least the Government takes care of things like National Defence, and keeping roads in working order.

Which you are forced to pay for whether you want them or not.

Companies will give you whatever they damn well feel like giving you.

Which you can choose to purchase or not.

See the difference here?

Re:Glass half full? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826142)

Nope. Companies will lie, cheat, and steal whenever they can. Just because you can opt out doesn't make them better.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827188)

But when they're not lying, cheating or stealing and they're merely offering a deal which you happen to find unacceptable, they aren't doing anything wrong.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30837118)

If you don't want national defense and roads, then stop fucking using them. If you live in America, you are using the roads and national defense. Just like with corporations, you don't have to pay if really do not want to. You just have to stop using the services provided. So get out of the god damn country.

Re:Glass half full? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826094)

So far as I know, most corporations don't generally respond with bloodshed when their sense of Divine Right is violated.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826232)

Coca-cola had Union Organizers murdered by thugs-for-hire at their plants in South America. Of course, the transaction was kept at a distance far enough that the authorities in the area were easy to pay off.

A lot of companies try to instill fanaticism into their customer-base to the point where choosing the wrong item can lead to effects ranging from simple ostracism to violent beatings or stabbings by those who are purchasing the competing products.

So, yeah, when you try and either stand up to a company, or just avoid their products, you can end up dead.

Lesser examples are rife even within more "civilized" communities. On Slashdot, you get brutalised textually for genuinely liking Microsoft, or for disliking whatever the program-du-jour is. And it's all spurred by companies. Again, I don't see a difference beyond overt method of operation.

Re:Glass half full? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30830232)

Ironically, many of the comments in this discussion seem to praise Microsoft going as far to suggest Bing may be better than Google. I think there is a culture on slashdot and anything against that culture gets slammed. I really do not think it is product driven.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827618)

Apparently, you're not big on reading peoples' entire comments before posting your own rants in response. If you'd actually bothered to slow down and read my original comment, it should have been clear that I'm quite mistrustful of corporations (although, I'm not one of those "all corporations are evil" types, nor do I believe making a profit is somehow evil). In fact, I explicitly stated that corporations are not to be trusted with your private data.

Seriously, did you even bother to read my whole comment, or were just looking for a spot to insert your little anti-corporate rant, and after skimming the first sentence of my post, decided that it would do?

Re:Glass half full? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826344)

Unfortunately, we're in the minority. Another decade or so and privacy as we understand it will be a baffling concept to almost everyone in the United States and probably most other places. We'll be considered, in the best case, quaint old geezers -- in the worst case, the most pernicious enemies of the state to ever exist, people who need to be eradicated.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30827068)

To be fair, anything that you type into a search engine, ANY search engine, becomes their data, not yours. Much like your IP address, location, browser, OS, referrer, search terms, and other info become my data when you visit my website. Getting rid of it after any time is a courtesy.

Re:Glass half full? (1)

bit9 (1702770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30834024)

I agree, mostly, about things like IP address and what not. I'm not advocating making it illegal to log such data. Rather, I would suggest that those who give a damn about their privacy be more careful which sites they visit.

However, I'm not sure I agree that anything you type into a search engine ought to legally become the property of the search company. Following the logic of "if you type something into our web page, it becomes our property," that means that every email you send through GMail is not your own property, every rant you post on Slashdot is not your own property, etc. Yes, I understand that that may indeed be what Google's TOS says, but nonetheless, I don't think most people would agree that Google should be able to do whatever the hell they want with your private emails.

Given the incredible number and variety of web sites out there (medical sites, financial services, online email, search engines, forums, etc, etc), it is inevitable that a LOT of very private, personal information will end up being shuffled back and forth across the Internet. By your logic, all of that data automatically becomes the property of the website owner, and presumably, this means that they can do with it as they please, without any limits or regulation. Call me crazy, but I don't agree with that.

We all know that looking at a person's search history, you can discover a ton of very private information about them. Given that, I don't think it's appropriate to be so flippant about what companies do with that information. It would seem that current law agrees with your assessment that such data belongs to the search companies, but that's not the same as saying that it should belong to them. Seems to me this is an area where the laws are still lagging way behind the technology, despite the fact that the Internet has been a major component of everyday life for 15+ years now.

Bing dishonours my name. (1)

enter to exit (1049190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30825864)

I search my name in Bing and get irrelevant results. (right first name wrong surname or the other way around).
Searching my name in quotation marks finds people who are long dead or listed as award recipients and have never been on the internet since.
It thinks i live in the UK (I live in Australia).
I search in google and i get my facebook twitter and linkedin account as the first three results with or without quotation marks plus other relevent stuff. google wins.

Re:Bing dishonours my name. (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826216)

You've got to admit that there's probably a very small demand for searching for you specifically.

More Data is NOT Always Better (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826012)

A decision about whether and how long to keep what data essentially boils down to a question of economics. Keeping some data is quite obviously valuable because it allows both for better tuning of search engine results AND targeted advertising which opens the door both to more relevant searches or better profits (most probably both). However, if keeping some data is good then keeping more is not always better. First, more data may not necessarily improve search results, particularly if the new data simply reinforces an existing rule or pattern in the search agent (assuming that AI methods are being used). Second, the more data you have stored the more attractive a target you become to various governments around the world (as Google is learning first-hand with Chinese hacking incidents and previously with the DOJ fishing expeditions). Finally, even if you could store everything the cost would be tremendous; even for big companies like Microsoft and Google. Looking at all of the data coming across the wire on the public Internet backbones and storing it is like looking into the Sun or drinking from a fire hose turned on full blast; there are reasons why people don't generally attempt these things (or at least not for indefinite periods of time). Thus, there is a balance to be struck between storing everything and storing nothing; the question is how much and what to store and I believe that the market will ultimately work that one out.

None of This Matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826042)

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and pretty much everyone else with a big enough data center, records everything every user does. In the case of the Big Three, they record every click, every window open and close, every tab open and close, every URL (except HTTPS) browsed to any way, in near real time. (Why did you think they released those toolbars?) All of these are associated with a GUID (This is NOT your IP address. DHCP and laptops makes these worthless after a few hours. They want to track people. Not NICs.) The GUID, is SHA1 hashed, so researchers can't recover it.

The fact is, no one bothers to try to put everything together, because you can do pretty much everything you want without needing to read someone's email or anything. (Yes, they do that too. But you already knew that with GMail ads right?)

Quite honestly, no one cares about any one user, because there are millions of users, and billions of pages viewed. As a researcher, you want to watch the swarm. An individual gnat, isn't that interesting.

Someone should delete Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826066)

Someone should delete Microsoft. Criminal monopoly. Expensive date.

Parsed this as "Bling IP data" (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826298)

See subject. Sorry, I've not even bothered looking at Bing, so no further comment.

Googlesteppers anonymous (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826446)

A much better policy than "Don't be evil." We have seen that enough.

As someone who works in politics and activism and is technically proficient, this policy official seals it:

I will from here on set Bing as the default home page for every copy of Firefox I install on the various computers I maintain for me and many others.

Getting off the google crack is tough. All their stuff works together so well. But search histories are the weak link in setting up a strong wall of privacy.

Microsoft, for all its faults, has a history of being good on privacy rights and a far better record than google. It seems to be that the impetus for Msoft's history is because government has for years antaogonized the giant.

The 90's trust-busting campaigns against Microsoft and more generally the role of government as a foil to business certainly do not foster a cooperative spirit between biz and federal agencies with the power of subpoena. Microsoft certainly is the quintessential business.

Google, on the other hand, purposefully blurs the lines between government and business: Google books copyright issues, Chinese censorship, trans-nationalism, AdSense content fixing, activism, epedemic search reporting, etc. Their corporate philosophy is reflected with their political leanings - Google heavily funds progressive pro government candidates.

Google itself was nearly synonymous with the Web 2.0 wave, also associated with left wing activist causes and socialistic pro gov candidates.

F5 through the scroogle.org pictures sometime.

For all its "Dont be evil" promises Google is far to cozy with government for my taste.
All business does is try to screw you, government tries to control you.

I'll take a big biz over big gov any day.

Does anybody even use Bing knowingly? (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826478)

At launch of Bing I have used it to test it and I haven't found any feature that would break my addition to Google. Even if Bing was as good as Google it is still different and requires me to learn a new tool. The only reason I would have learnt a new tool would be if it was any better - but it is not. At least in my opinion.

So my question is - does anybody even use Bing? Recently I recall that I have used Bing only when I gived the search box at MSFT KB/Support pages (which use Bing) and it just failed for simple queries like "download something-microsoftish". Google is much better even when searching MSFT sites.

Yes and I know that Google != privacy. But I can cope with that if it works OK.

Re:Does anybody even use Bing knowingly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827142)

cashback.bing.com

That's why I use it. I plan on purchasing something anyhow, give MS a clickthrough, and get a portion of my purchase back. So they collect some data; it's on my friggen credit card anyhow.

Why will Microsoft match their competitors (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826504)

Why would Microsoft say "it would reduce its retention time to six months, but only if its rivals followed suit"? What difference does it make what their competitors do in this regard? How does keeping the IP data for longer give them any real advantage?

Sure they can target advertisments based on my search queries, but then they can also do it based on the current site that I'm on. At least they know what I am reading know is still relevant to me. Ever since the court case, I'm not interested in that thing I was searching for 6 months ago. (Oh, what a giveaway!)

The fact that they resisted voluntarily reducing the retention time suggests that they are doing something that I would prefer that they didn't do. I just don't know what it is.

The policies are staying the same? (1)

papa_lizard (1690036) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826650)

Microsoft's policies will remain the same, but now, the company will delete the IP address and other info after six months.

So their policies will remain the same, but their policies are going to change?

Bing just has a lot more data now than it had befo (1)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30826668)

Bing just has a lot more data now than it had before. IE8 "suggested sites" feature sends everything to them. After a certain point the costs of having a dataset of enormous size begin to outweigh the benefits, so people either sample the old data, or delete it outright.

I suspect this is what's happening in this case as well.

Tor + Scroogle SSL + Safe-Mail SSL = you win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30826692)

Fire up Tor:

https://www.torproject.org/ [torproject.org]

Properly configure it and use Scroogle SSL:

https://ssl.scroogle.org/ [scroogle.org]

Couple it with a decent mail client not requiring cookies or script:

https://www.safe-mail.net/ [safe-mail.net]

Problem solved!

I have no desire or need for Microsoft/Google's direct offerings and surely not mail from either when Tor + Safe-Mail SSL does the job without scripts, cookies, flash, java, etc.

Exit nodes? Hah! It's all SSL, baby! (provided the user verifies everything is correct and in order)

Do you really, really, REALLY trust Microsoft (or Google)? HAHAHAHAH!

If it's not encrypted, it's not worth a SHIT.

None of it is done correctly (regarding insecure unencrypted websites), if you search naked without something like tor & ssl, you are stupid.

Who follows privacy policies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30827446)

It doesn't matter what the privacy policy says if they don't follow it. [privacy.net]

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