The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party announced Wednesday that search engine operators Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are noncompliant with the EU's data protection rules. The group sent letters to the companies, U.S. Federal Trade Commission and EU Commissioner Viviane Reding specifying that the methods used to make search data anonymous do not comply with the EU's Data Protection Directive. The Working Party also wants the time period in which data is kept before it is made anonymous reduced to six months. The Wall Street Journal reports that while Yahoo and Microsoft fall within that timeframe, Google has responded that it keeps search queries for nine months to provide "the best experience for users both in terms of respect for their privacy and the quality and security of our services." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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