Google's attitude towards privacy has seen a dramatic shift in the last year. In June, Google announced that it will retain user search data for 18 months [JURIST report], down from its previous policy of retaining data for 18-24 months. Google's policy revision came in response to an announcement [JURIST report] by the European Commission [official website] in May that the EU's independent advisory panel would investigate [press briefing] Google to determine whether it complies with EU privacy rules [EU Data Protection website]. In April, numerous Internet privacy groups in the United States filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint [PDF text; JURIST report] against Google, following reports that the company was planning to buy Internet advertising company DoubleClick [corporate website]. The groups requested that the FTC block the proposed merger [agreement text; SEC press release] until the agency conducts an investigation, saying that the merger would allow Google to match users' personal information with their Internet usage history and habits.
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