Tuesday, 24 Jul, 2007 Technology

Microsoft Wants to Make The Web More Secure


Officials from Microsoft said on Sunday that they undertake steps towards making Web search more secure and protect the users' privacy on the Internet.

According to Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy officer, this action from Microsoft is an answer to the public concern about a recent consolidation of online ad industry. The step was also influenced by the government's regulations concerning online privacy.

Microsoft has also mentioned that any users' queries on the Internet made on Microsoft's Live Search will become anonymous after 18 months. However, if a user wants Microsoft to store his/her query history for a longer period, the company will do it. Changes of this policy are retroactive and worldwide.

The software company intends also a data storage separated from information about people, their e-mails or any other identifying information. This should minimize the possibility of unauthorized access to the user related information. Microsoft will also reject usage of cookies related to the particular user and other identifiers.

Ask.com, the search engine and part of the Barry Diller's InterActiveCorp, has agreed to join the software giant in adopting a common system for online data collection and users' privacy protection while performing online searches or in online advertising. Recently Ask.com launched the AskEraser service. It should allow Ask's customers to change online privacy settings at any desired moment.

This step from Microsoft is a response to Google recent intention to erase all user-related information from its databases within 18 months. Thus the two major players in the online search industry will compete in keeping users' data private. Experts say Microsoft is one step ahead, as they made the actions retroactive.

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