Google Agrees With EU Directive, Halves Time It Stores IP addresses

Google has agreed to cut the transitory period it takes before anonymising IP addresses of anyone who use the search engine's website, from 18 months to a more manageable 9 months.

The move which comes a few days after it hastily changed T&C clauses in its Chrome Browser End User license agreement will bring it closer to what the EU advises on the subject, that personal data should be made untraceable after six months.

Instead Google will scramble the IP addresses so that it can still keep the remaining data for statistical purposes: each search query generates a number of variables like the web browser used, the time and date as well as the platform used.

The change has been welcomed by the Data Protection Commissioner although it is unlikely that Google goes further; IP addresses are often collected for marketing purposes but also because law enforcement agencies crave for such data minefields.