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ASK Eraser to "Erase" User's Search History
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Earlier today ASK.com (IAC) announced that it will soon be implementing a new product called AskEraser. ASKEraser will allow the user to erase their ASK search history. According to the head of development at ASK.com, the reason ASKEraser has not yet been released is that ASK is still working out the "technical implementation". For search engine users concerned with their privacy, ASKEraser is just what the doctor ordered.

According to Search Engine Land, the process of using ASKEraser will involve identifying yourself via a cookie:
Doing it is somewhat tricky. You'll need to identify the person as someone who has enrolled in AskEraser, which will almost certainly be done by looking at their cookie. There's a degree of irony -- to be anonymous in searching at Ask, you'll have to identify yourself via a cookie!
ASK stated that they will retain user data for 18 months. So what about personalization? Well ASK has implemented their MyStuff service that allows those who opt-in to have their searches recorded in yet a third location separate from web logs and search logs.

According to the official press release on ASK Eraser, "With the announcement of AskEraser, Ask.com becomes the only major search engine to commit to giving consumers the control to prevent retention of their search history at the time of their search. AskEraser is expected to be deployed on Ask.com in the U.S. and U.K. by the end of the year, and globally early next year."

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posted by Jody @ 8:18 PM  
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