A Dutch academic has suggested that online privacy could be significantly increased if data was allowed to fade, the BBC has reported.
Dr Harold van Heerde says that internet security is tough to maintain, due to the presence of 'weak nodes'. He suggests that by allowing data to 'fade' after a defined period, companies can avoid holding unnecessary information, and accidental data losses can be prevented.
Dr van Heerde, who works at the Centre for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, published his research paper, entitled " A framework to balance privacy and data usability using data degradation", at the International Conference on Computational Science and Engineering.
According to van Heerde, there is no need for technology giants to store visitors information once it has been used. He stated that unnecessary data can be misused, and that company privacy policies are simply too fragile.
The paper names the likes of Google and Facebook as companies that could benefit from data fading technology.
Both companies have recently come in for criticism over their privacy measures.