Google has said that its cookies, tiny files stored on a computer when a user visits a website, will auto delete after two years.
Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, said in a statement: “After listening to feedback from our users and from privacy advocates, we’ve concluded that it would be a good thing for privacy to significantly shorten the lifetime of our cookies.”
Fair enough, and an important step, but how many people use Google once (and no more) in every two years? Sure, it’s better than 30 years, but it’s hardly going to have a significant impact.
(Yes, I know you can delete your own cookies. No, I don’t think it changes the basic argument. In practice, very few even know how to do so, I suspect).
Update: Michael Zimmer (an expert in this area, and giving a talk on search engines this afternoon!) says similar but with more substance!