Have no fear, Google auto-delete is here

I almost laughed when I saw this on the Beeb:

Google has said that its cookies, tiny files stored on a computer when a user visits a website, will auto delete after two years.

They will be deleted unless the user returns to a Google site within the two-year period, prompting a re-setting of the file’s lifespan.

The company’s cookies are used to store preference data for sites, such as default language and to track searches.

All search engines and most websites store cookies on a computer.

Currently, Google’s are set to delete after 2038.

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.”

He said the company had to “find a way to do so without artificially forcing users to re-enter their basic preferences at arbitrary points in time.”

So if a user visits a Google website, a cookie will be stored on their computer and will auto-delete after two years. But if the user returns to a Google service, the cookie will re-set for a further two years.

Let me highlight that for you in case you missed it: User visits Google, cookie stored and will auto-delete after two years. User returns to Google, date on cookie is re-set, so the cookie lives for another two years.

Duh.

I’m not buying. I use Google search, use Gmail, and from time to time a product or two, but I’m NOT trusting Google to delete my cookies. I’ll do it myself thank you very much.

Update: A few hours later to fix the missing link to the original article.

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