Sensing a possible opening against the current search engine giant Google, Microsoft has announced some changes to Bing’s privacy tools , while at the same time taking a back-handed swipe at Google’s privacy policies.
In case you missed it , Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in an interview on CNBC, seem to suggest that Google’s take on user privacy was pretty much open-ended. Schmidt said “If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.” Some thought this was Google blaming the victim rather than the victimizer. Not the sort of ‘got-your-back’ attitude many would like to see in their search-engine provider.
In addition, Google changed its search-engine privacy settings, to better personalize the experience. One of the changes made is the storing of 180-days of search history in a browser cookie, so Google has a database on which to draw for second-guessing what you want to look for.
In all the hubbub, Mozilla’s Director of Community Development, Asa Dotzler, said that users should drop Google in favor of Bing, which Dotzler said provides better privacy guarantees.
Hot on the heels of the controversy, Bing is touting both its privacy, and changes which enhance that privacy. Bing will now give you greater control over the history of your recent searches with “See all”, “Clear all”, and “Turn Off” options. (In “See all” you can delete individual search requests. “Turn off” lets you disable the history function all together.) In addition, Microsoft will store a maximum of four weeks of searches (up from 48-hours), in a browser cookie.
In the announcement of these changes, Microsoft said “...we've tried to build privacy and respect for your search history into the overall experience and not as an afterthought. Too many systems provide us with choice, but little control.”
Take that Google!
Image Credit: Microsoft