Friday, July 20, 2007 promises not to keep query data

While is not at the top of the heap of search engines, I think this is an interesting development. announced today that it will not store users' queries. What I find most interesting is this observation:

"The number of people this is important to is small," said Doug Leeds, Ask's vice president of product management. "But to these people, it's very important."

This has been my experience. Despite polls and surveys, people who truly care about privacy are a minority. But it seems to be a growing minority and it isn't black and white. And within that segment is a group that cares about privacy a lot. There are also degrees of privacy interest and many people will use privacy characteristics of a service as a distinguishing feature between products or services. It makes sense to address that group of potential customers.

See: When asked, Ask to stop data retention - Yahoo! News.

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