Search engines have been under the microscope for months with regards to privacy and management of user information, and Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves) has emerged to set the benchmark for search privacy control with its new AskEraser.
The IAC owned search engine is giving its searchers ultimate control over the data that Ask.com stores about their search experience. With AskEraser, users can change their privacy preferences at any time, with their status confirmed throughout the search experience on the search results pages.
“AskEraser is a great solution for those looking for an additional level of privacy when they search online,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com through the AskEraser press release. “Anonymous user data can be very useful to enhance search products for all users, and we’re committed to being open and transparent about how such information is used. But we also understand that there are some who are interested in new tools that will help protect their privacy further, and we will give them that control on Ask.com.”
Ask.com has trumped the feeble attempts by other search engines to address users’ privacy concerns. Google’s best offering to date, is deletion of data after 18 months assuming the user has become inactive.
Users’ behavioral data is a highly demanded commodity, especially when tied into contextual advertising, so it’s comforting to see Ask.com placing user peace of mind ahead of the quick buck. The strategy could prove to be more lucrative to the search engine in the long term, as searchers opt for a more secure search experience.