Google implements tighter privacy rules

Google is adopting new privacy measures to make it more difficult to connect online search requests with the people making them, a thorny issue that provoked a showdown with the US government last year, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said under the new revisions, Google promised to wrap a cloak of anonymity around the vast amounts of information that the firm regularly collects about its millions of users around the world.

Google believes it can provide more assurances of privacy by removing key pieces of identifying information from its system every 18 to 24 months, the report said.

The timetable is designed to comply with a hodgepodge of laws around the world that dictate how long search engines are supposed to retain user information, the report added.

Authorities still could demand to review personal information before Google purges it or take legal action seeking to force the company to keep the data beyond the new time limits, the report further said.

Privacy experts applauded Google's precautions as a major step in the right direction.