As one of the reasons behind its practice of keeping users’ IP addresses and search histories Google mentions their use as tools for combating attacks such as the one they were targeted with last week in China.
Peter Fleisher, Google’s privacy lawyer, says that this attack demonstrated the importance of keeping logs for analysis, and announced Google’s intention of proposing to EU’s data protection committee a creation of a panel of privacy and cybersecurity experts that will aid search engine makers in negotiating a compromise between security and privacy that will satisfy all sides.
According to Computerworld, Microsoft has already announced that the data in question gathered from the use of their Bing search engine shall be kept for the last 6 months only.
Google has shortened the period for which it keeps the data from 18 to nine months, but even then it will delete only the part that cannot identify an individual. The rest of the data they plan to keep for statistical analysis.