Wayland writes "The European Union's Article 29 Working Group has completed its PDF report on data protection and search engines. The group recommends that search engines only be allowed to hold onto search data for six months. 'To hang onto data for longer, search engine operators will need to show that such data is "strictly necessary" to offer the service. Google and others have long said that they need to retain data in order to refine search results, prevent click fraud, and launch new services like spell check (which, in Google's case, was built from user search data). In addition, the data that is kept will need to be guarded more closely. The working group concluded that IP addresses could be used to identify individuals; if not by the search engine itself, then by law enforcement or after a subpoena.'"