Ask.com First Major Search Engine to Allow Deletion of All User Search History



SEL has a great overview of Ask.com’s pending launch of AskEraser, which will allow users to delete their search history at any time.

From the press release:

With AskEraser, people can ensure that their search history will not be retained by Ask.com. Searchers will have easy access to AskEraser and can change their privacy preference at any time. Once selected, searchers’ privacy settings will be clearly indicated on search results pages so they always know the privacy status of their searches.

“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. “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.”

There’s no date on when AskEraser will launch – they’re still figuring out the technical details of actually deleting the data. Danny explains…

Doing it is somewhat tricky. You’ll need to identify the person as someone who has enrolled in AskEraser, which will almost certainly be done by looking at their cookie. There’s a degree of irony — to be anonymous in searching at Ask, you’ll have to identify yourself via a cookie!

I’m sure it’s going to be a work in progress, but hats-off to Ask.com for stepping up to the plate and giving searchers a real option for removing their data. Now, if we could just get the search engines to let us have back all of the data we give them – it goes in, but it doesn’t come out.

  • http://www,brianchappell.com Brian Chappell

    Not that I use ask much but I LOVE the fact that they will allow you to do that. Not being able to more or less opt out of this kind of data retrieval really bothers me with the other engines.

  • http://www.textadsearch.com/ TextAdSearch

    That’s nice for both of Ask’s users but will the Big 3 follow, I doubt it without intervention.

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  • http://www.markbarrera.com Mark Barrera

    I don’t forsee any of the big three following the lead on this one. Especially not Google.

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  • Bill Melater

    I will use Ask.com now… Goodbye Larry. Enjoy the honeymoon.

  • Charlie

    How do I get this Ask.com virus off my computer. It’s not installed as a program. It’s not anywhere in the registry. It’s not listed as a tool bar in Explorer. it is not my home page, but it has hijacked my search! Real good story the promoting a virus.

  • http://n/a timothy

    How do I get this Ask.com virus off my computer it wont remove from my add and remove programs only thing i was able to do was disabled it is far as i got help please?

  • Tasha

    How do i get ask.com off my computer i did no install this program on my computer and i can not unstall it from add or remove programs because it’s not listed i hate this program i want it removed now it’s really driving me crazy

  • Jerry Dean

    How do I get ask.com off of my computer? Every time I reboot, even after removing ask.com from the list of Search Engine Defaults, Ask.com comes back!

  • firefoxuser

    Ask.com is just as bad as any spyware or malware around. Removing the toolbar from both firefox and explorer does no good. The installed software will remain inside your browser re-directing you to ask.com no matter wat. AVOID ask.com,

    Security companies banning labeling ask.com as a malicious software were right off the bat.

  • Larry Adolf

    I didn’t know how I got this program on my computer and tried deleting it. Doesn’t work of course, now I know It’s a virus.
    Does anybody have any more current infor. on this Beast since last message posting of 12/26/08?