Google takes another step to protect user privacy

Google announced a new logs retention policy. They pledge to anonymize IP addresses on their server logs after 9 months. That’s a significant shortening of their previous 18-month retention policy that comes as an answer to regulatory concerns.

Since they announced our original logs anonymization policy in 2007, they reportedly had hundreds of discussions with data protection officials, government leaders and privacy advocates around the world in order to explain thir privacy practices and to work together to develop ways to improve privacy.

When it comes to anonymizing logs after 18 months, Google claims it meant sacrifices in future innovations and they believed further reducing the period before anonymizing would degrade the utility of the data too much and outweigh the incremental privacy benefit for users. Fortunately they didn’t stop working on this difficult problem. After months of work their engineers developed methods for preserving more of the data’s utility while also anonymizing IP addresses sooner, which is bound to satisfy privacy regulators.

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