Oakland (CA) - While Google is still reeling from Internet privacy debates, Ask.com has swooped in to offer a new service that won't keep track of user searches.Ask.com announced this week that it is launching a new tool that will allow people's online searches to be kept anonymous. That means it won't keep any record of user queries.
Ask Eraser will be part of Ask.com's new privacy settings, and it will prevent linking of search information to the user.
This new feature comes as Google recently got in hot water with the European Union over its lengthy log of search data, which showed years of data of individual users' search requests.
Complying with stricter standards than Google now follows, users not interested in Ask Eraser will have their search data stored on Ask.com for 18 months. It will then disassociate the searches with the user information. Google keeps the information two years, and is automatically renewed for another two years if the user continues to use the search engine.
Ask.com, which swings back and forth with AOL for fourth place in the search engine market, has recently pushed much stronger than it had previously, opening up a new TV advertising campaign and revamping the look of its search results.
Yahoo and Microsoft, the second and third place search engines, respectively, are also reportedly working on new privacy practices.