Microsoft improves Bing privacy policy

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Microsoft improves Bing privacy policy

IP data retention to be cut.

Microsoft has announced changes to the data retention policy for its Bing search engine.

In a move which will please privacy campaigners, all IP addresses associated with searches will now be wiped after six months.

Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft, announced the changes in a blog posting yesterday, confirming that the length of time data is retained will be cut from 18 months to six.

"This change is the result of a number of factors, including a continuing evaluation of our business needs, the current competitive landscape and our ongoing dialogue with privacy advocates, consumer groups, and regulators, including the Article 29 Working Party, the group of 27 European national data protection regulators charged with providing advice to the European Commission and other EU institutions on data protection," he wrote.

Cullen added that Microsoft will implement the new policy over the next 12 to 18 months.

It is likely that the firm is trying to differentiate itself by highlighting its privacy credentials, something arch rival Google has struggled to do.

However, Bing still has a long way to go to catch up with Google, the undisputed leader in the search market with a share of around 85 per cent in December, according to Net Applications.

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