Ask.com to offer privacy control

Source: digitaltrends.com

Search engine Ask.com has announced it will be introducing a new service called AskEraser, enabling users to ensure that Ask.com does not retain their search histories. Once rolled out, the feature will make Ask.com the only search engine which gives users the option of preventing retention of their search data at the time of their search, as opposed to contacting the search engine company after the fact and attempting to have the data expunged.

The company plans to roll out AskEraser in the U.S. and UK markets by the end of 2007, and have the service available globally in early 2008. At the same time Ask.com introduces AskEraser, the company plants to implement a new data retention standard which disassociates search histories from a user's IP address and cookie information after 18 months. The move comes just days after leading search engine Google announced it would be setting its cookies to auto-delete after two years, in a bid to improve the company's privacy stance.

"AskEraser is a great solution for those looking for an additional level of privacy when they search online," said Ask.com CEO Jim Lanzone, in a statement. "Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, and we're committed to being open and transparent about how such information is used.

But we also understand that there are some who are interested in new tools that will help protect their privacy further, and we will give them that control on Ask.com."

Ask.com says it is also working with the Centre for Democracy & Technology to develop ways users can better control their search experience and online privacy.

Credits: Geoff Duncan Digital Trends
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