Microsoft reduces the IP address storage to 6 months

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BRUSSELS – Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday it would abbreviate the time it stores Internet users' addresses from Web search queries from 18 months to 6 months following a request from a European Union data privacy panel.

It said the change would make its Bing search a better choice for privacy-conscious internet users than the world's leading search engine Google Inc., because Microsoft will delete the whole Internet Protocol (IP) address from search queries - the string of numbers that shows a computer's location.

"We believe that the balance between privacy and efficiency is very much in the mind of consumers," Microsoft's associate general counsel Mr. John Vassallo told reporters. "Getting the balance right does make the search engine more attractive." he added.

Microsoft says its search engine has some 2 % of the European market, well below Google on 80 %.

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