Google Cedes to Privacy Pressures

23 July 2007

WASHINGTON, DC: In an attempt to mollify regulators on both sides of the Atlantic, Google is in conciliatory mode. It has amended its cookie policy to expunge after two years the user information it collects, rather than the former delete date of 2038.

The new policy applies both in the US and the European Union, where data regulators recently wrung a concession to cut from 24 to eighteen months the period for which Google retains personal search data.

Cynical observers suggest the search titan is eager to win friends and influence people within the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, both of whom are probing its recent $3.1 billion (€2.24bn; £1.51bn) acquisition of ad serving company DoubleClick.

  • Meantime, Google must be wondering just what it has to do to satiate the chowhounds of Wall Street, who last week downed its stock by 7% despite it having delivered gross revenues of $3.87bn, a year-on-year increase of 58%.

    The web giant's profit-per-share of $3.56 fell short of an analysts' consensus of $3.59 - a slippage attributed by the company to a greater than expected increase in hiring expenses while revenues from affiliates rose less than anticipated.

    Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff