EU regulators have delayed their verdict on the length of time that search engines such as Google and Yahoo can legally retain user data.
At a meeting in Brussels this week, The Article 29 data protection Working Party continued discussions on the matter, but did not deliver the draft opinion it was expected to.
Google has already cut the amount of time it retains search data to 18 months in response to criticism from the Working Party last June. Microsoft followed suit, while Yahoo cut its retention to 13 months. Search engine Ask.com now allows users to erase their data entirely.
Search engines fall under an EU Data Protection Directive if they are collecting users’ IP addresses or search history. The directive applies to companies outside of the EU, providing they have an establishment within an EU member state.
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