Monday, July 16, 2007
We are committed to an ongoing process to improve our privacy practices, and have recently taken a closer look at the question of cookie privacy. How long should a web site "remember" cookie information in its logs after a user's visit? And when should a cookie expire on your computer? Cookie privacy is both a server and a client issue.
On the server side, we recently announced that we will anonymize our search server logs — including IP addresses and cookie ID numbers — after 18 months.
In the coming months, Google will start issuing our users cookies that will be set to auto-expire after 2 years, while auto-renewing the cookies of active users during this time period. In other words, users who do not return to Google will have their cookies auto-expire after 2 years. Regular Google users will have their cookies auto-renew, so that their preferences are not lost. And, as always, all users will still be able to control their cookies at any time via their browsers.
Together, these steps — logs anonymization and cookie lifetime reduction — are part of our ongoing plan to continue innovating in the area of privacy to protect our users.