Google's Cookies Crumbling Sooner

Dennis Faas's picture

In a move that will surely please many privacy campaigners, Google has changed its cookie policy dramatically.

How so?

Instead of having cookies expire in the year 2038, they will expire two years after the page has last been viewed. (Source:

The announcement comes shortly after the search engine giant revealed that it will erase search logs after 18 months, a reduction from the previously uncapped time limit.

The cookie reduction announcement came via an official Google blog entitled "Cookies: Expiring Sooner to Improve Privacy." In the post, Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer wrote, "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."

The blog also stated, "In the coming months, Google will start issuing our users cookies that will be set to auto-expire after two years, while auto-renewing the cookies of active users during this time period... In other words, users who do not return to Google will have their cookies auto-expire after two years." (Source:

Many privacy advocates have applauded Google for the change, pointing out that Google has stepped ahead of many of its competitors in terms of improving privacy policies. Jim Harper, a privacy specialist, believes that Google deserves credit for the announcement. "As important as the substance of the new cookie policy, Google is talking about their information practices and the effects their practices have on privacy. What other company does even that?" (Source:

In past months, Google has clearly made an effort to alter its public image. Much has changed since earlier this year, when a report by Privacy International placed Google at the bottom of its list, accusing the company of having institutional hostility toward privacy.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet