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EU welcomes Google’s decision to strengthen privacy of its users

The European Commission on Thursday welcomed Google’s decision to strengthen privacy of its users by reducing retention periods of IP addresses from search logs from 18 to nine months.

Google’s decision was announced during a meeting with European Commission officials on Thursday. European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot considers this move toward compliance with European Union privacy principles and EU data protection laws as a good step in the right direction, said the commission in a statement. The commission, the executive body of the EU, had recommended six-months retention of IP addresses.

Google on Thursday vowed to better protect the privacy of its users. “In the 10 years since Google’s launch, the web has exploded from an estimated 26 million to more than a trillion pages. We have concentrated on making this information available and accessible to all,” said Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, in a statement. “But as Google has grown into a global resource, we recognize the need to provide ever-better protections for the privacy of our users,” he said. (Xinhua)