Microsoft has confirmed that it will be slashing its data retention period from 18 months to six months as the result of an ongoing conversation with a number of privacy stakeholders worldwide.
The change will occur over the next 18 months or so and will delete the IP address, any de-identified cookie ID and other cross session ID that might be associated with a particular query.
For the time being, de-identification, the process, by which each piece of data collected is separated from any details that might identify and individual - such as a name or address, occurs.
Peter Cullen, Microsoft's chief privacy strategist, said in a blog post that it is an important change to the way the company views online privacy.
The move has been motivated by the work carried out by the Article 29 Working Party - the entity that represents 27 of the European national data protection regulators.
Microsoft, it seems, is trying to outfox Google when it comes to privacy and thereby differentiate itself from its many rivals (ed: there's nobody else remaining apart from Google).
It is likely that it is also looking to enhance its position vis-a-vis European countries with whom it has had some heated exchanges in the past over antitrust issues.
Google is by far the biggest search engine in Europe. Bing by contrast occupies only two percent of the market while Google towers at 80 percent. Will Bing succeed in beating Google based simply on privacy concerns? Certainly not, only by providing a better search experience will it manage to bring down big G.