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Ask Adds AskEraser To Maintain User Privacy, Microsoft Joins Them To Evolve Privacy Procedures

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Want to make sure your search history is not being recorded? Ask.com has developed AskEraser a tool that will allow you to wipe your search history and will be launching it in the near future, according to their press release.

"Searchers will have easy access to AskEraser and can change their privacy preference at any time. Once selected, searchers' privacy settings will be clearly indicated on search results pages so they always know the privacy status of their searches," the press release stated.

"As search and other online services progress, it's important for our customers to be able to trust that their information is being used appropriately and in a way that provides value to them," said Peter Cullen, chief privacy strategist at Microsoft. "We hope others in the industry will join us in developing and supporting principles that address these important issues. People should be able to search and surf online without having to navigate a complicated patchwork of privacy policies."

"AskEraser is a great solution for those looking for an additional level of privacy when they search online," said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com. "Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, and we're committed to being open and transparent about how such information is used. But we also understand that there are some who are interested in new tools that will help protect their privacy further, and we will give them that control on Ask.com."

"Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, but people should have access to privacy controls based on their level of comfort around the storage of their search data," said Doug Leeds, vice president of product management at Ask.com. "We're committed to developing new ways to give consumers the control they are entitled to when it comes to searching online, and hope others will join us in engaging in dialogue on these important issues."

Microsoft and Ask.com are proposing that leading search providers, online advertising companies and privacy advocates convene to engage in an active dialogue to discuss privacy considerations posed by the proliferation of online advertising and search. The goal of the dialogue is to determine ways that the industry can work cooperatively to define privacy principles that take these new considerations into account. The companies will provide an update on their progress in September.


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