As reported on German technews site heise, Peter Fleischer, Google's Global Privacy Counsel, writes on his Google blog: "In the coming months, Google will start issuing our users cookies that will be set to auto-expire after 2 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 2 years. Regular Google users will have their cookies auto-renew, so that their preferences are not lost. And, as always, all users will still be able to control their cookies at any time via their browsers."
The Artiel 29 Working Party's letter to Google back in May can be downloaded here (PDF)"