Google, MS, Yahoo transgress rules: EU
Berlin: European data protection officials have been advising the big search engines like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to shorten the period they sustain information on computer users. According to the officials these search engines have broken the rules by holding information on the computers for a long time. The US Federal Trade Commission will be asked to examine if the practices of the three companies violated American law. The advisory panel to the European Commission asked the three companies to put in charge outside auditors to verify that, their practices of yielding individual data truly eliminates all links to individuals. The European Union data protection rules hold that, search engines to cut off all traceable links to individual computers totally after six months. Microsoft which operates Bing search engine said that it would abide by the commission's request to provide data from individuals after six months. But it would retain software cookies and other session identifiers for 18 months. European data protection officials have been urging the search engines since 2007 to shorten the time they retain information on computer users.In response, the engines have cut retention periods from 18 months, but the moves are still not enough to satisfy the regulators. Google maintains data for nine months and Yahoo is set to remove a part of computer's unique identification number after 90 days but reserved the right to recreate individual logos at the request of law. The article 29 suggests that the methods were insufficient and violated European Union data protection rules.