While Google is leading a charge to create a global privacy standard for how companies protect consumer data.
USA Today story adds some historical colour to the story, by highlighting the fact that Google is struggling with privacy concerns that threatens its purchase Internet ad service DoubleClick for $3.1 billion:
Facing pressure from European regulators, Google got the privacy ball rolling in a new direction earlier this year when it announced plans to regularly remove key pieces of personal information about the search requests stored in its computers.
It then narrowed its time frame for depersonalizing search requests from as long as two years to 18 months — a standard that Microsoft, which runs the third-most-popular search engine, also has adopted.
Yahoo, which operates the second-most-popular search engine, has gone further by promising to scrub personal information within 13 months — a standard Time Warner's AOL also follows.
InterActiveCorp's Ask.com is going even further by offering its users a tool that will prevent search terms and the Internet addresses of computers from being retained.
Previously, all the search engines had been vague about how long they hold on to the personal information logged from search requests.