Almost a month after the EU approved Google's DoubleClick acquisition, officials from 27 EU nations have unanimously adopted a proposal that could force search engines to reduce the amount of time they store personal information. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party met for 2 days in Brussels last week and agreed that six months should be the maximum amount of time data is stored.
Last year Google cut its data storage to 18 months to comply with EU rules. Microsoft and Yahoo followed suit by reducing their storage to 18 and 13 months respectively.
Experts think this could have implications for online advertising. The booming industry is expected to see tremendous growth in the coming years, but relies heavily on personal data to target ads.
In the U.S., efforts have been made by various state officials to limit the way search engines collect information but to largely no avail. Most recently, state officials in New York and Connecticut introduced bills to thwart data collection.