On December 12, 2007, the Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD) published a report analyzing the privacy policies of major Internet search engines and requested limits on search data storage and e-mail filters. The report, entitled “Declaration on Internet Search Engines”, is the result of information provided by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!. It reveals significant privacy policy differences between companies and lack of information to the consumers on how their personal data is being used. Moreover, the report states that although companies may not store personal data for longer than necessary to provide the intended services or for limited functions such as service improvement, they currently retain search data between 13 and 18 months. Additionally, the AEPD criticized e-mail services that scan mail to offer personalized advertising, when scanning is only permitted to filter spam and viruses. The Declaration also targeted the registration data required of consumers in order for them to create blogs or use other Internet services. Therefore, the Agency asked the search engine companies to develop new information mechanisms providing clear and visible information to customers on how their data is used, and giving them the right to cancel, correct, or challenge it.

The Declaration on Internet Search Engines is available (in Spanish) at:  https://www.agpdes/upload/Canal_Documentacion/Recomendaciones/declaracion_aepdbuscadores.pdf