Google: EU data rules could hinder flu tracking

EU plans to make Google cut the length of time it holds onto user data will hinder the company's pandemic-forecasting capabilities, Larry Page has claimed.The BBC reports Page as criticising European Commission plans to have Google anonymise users' search data after six months - the company currently hangs onto such information for nine months.

EU plans to make Google cut the length of time it holds onto user data will hinder the company's pandemic-forecasting capabilities, Larry Page has claimed.

The BBC reports Page as criticising European Commission plans to have Google anonymise users' search data after six months - the company currently hangs onto such information for nine months.

From the BBC piece:

When we released data about Mexico flu trends we had a whole debate," he said.

"We were worried we would cause panic. But we decided the benefits outweighed the cost."

Mr Page said deleting search data after six months was "in direct conflict" with being able to map pandemics.

Meanwhile, the WHO has announced that nearly 10,000 cases of swine flu have now been diagnosed across 40 countries.