The free market is a wonderful thing

The little guys try harder:

In what’s likely to be seen as a privacy-friendly move, IAC Search & Media’s Ask.com search engine Tuesday announced a new feature called AskEraser that deletes a user’s search activity data from the company’s servers.

When enabled by the user, the feature will completely delete search queries and associated cookie information from Ask.com servers — including IP addresses, user IDs, session IDs and the text of queries made, according to the company. In most cases, the deletion will take place within a few hours of the time a search is completed, the company said.

What’s bizarre is that some people want government involvement in something where the big concern is government involvement to begin with:

Ask.com has also said that it will also retain user search data in cases where it is required by law to do so, according to Chester. Formal legal requests for search data will continue to be honored, even if AskEraser is enabled.

As a result, Chester argued that Ask.com still hasn’t fully addressed consumer privacy concerns.

“Some privacy advocates will suggest that this announcement shows the ‘market’ is working,” he said. “No doubt, that’s what Google and the other online advertisers opposed to a serious privacy policy will echo, whispering it to regulators, lawmakers and journalists. That’s why a national privacy policy is required.”