Just to correct the above. It should have said something like' According to the article, Elliot Schrage of Google is quoted as saying that data from the basic search is retained for 18 months'. Sorry about that, a bit of a brain storm must have garbled that. On a general note, I think that part of the problem with issues relating to Internet Privacy are the people who know least about it are those that are often most worried, active and vocal in the privacy scene. Ive read the most misleading scare mongering by people who dont appear to have the slightest idea how networks work, or who don't even know how to correctly configure the software that the use on a daily basis to interact with networks. If they did, they wouldnt be spending small fortunes on security software. Most domestic security issues can be resolved quite easily by configuring the Web Browser software correctly and following some very simple rules regarding the use of email software. This of course is something of an inconvenience, and probably why people so readily spend money on more software in the hope that they need not educate themselves. The problem with that is that the user never actually gets to understand how networks work, and they remain in a state of anxious ignorance, or never realise when the software isnt doing what the vendor claims it will . Well, that's modern marketing (see below). Interesting, but Id dispute some of that article. To the best of my knowledge the section about the Google cookie is correct, but Id challenge that Google are learning anything about you, other than your IP (no great shakes there, networks wont work without knowing your IP. For instance, without an Internet Protocol address when your Web Browser sends a request to, say, the BCUK server for a Web page, the server wouldnt know where to send the code that renders the pages in your Web Browser, youd just be looking at a blank screen and waiting forever for the page to render), general location, and what sites you visit and some other minor stuff. The proxy software that the article mentions may not work, in the sense that it may not, in fact, anonymise your IP. I cant speak of the ones mentioned but the ones I tested a few years ago, simply bounced me from proxy to proxy in various parts of the world, but I proved to my satisfaction that that at every jump the proxy was forwarding on the details of the originating IP and so the server that I was requesting pages from knew where the request had originated, thus defeating the whole point of the, so called, anonymising network of proxies that the software was setting up for me, the user. The article also states that broadband connections have a fixed IP. This is not so, some ISPs provide what are known as static IP (fixed) and other provide the customer with a dynamic IP from a pool of IPs that are registered with the ISP. The article also states You should also avoid using your internet service provider's search engine page: it already knows who you are. am I missing something here? There is no such thing as anonymity on the Internet, be it Email or the Web, or any other type of network. It would take more effort and inter-agency cooperation to locate you on some networks than on others but it can be done, there is no hiding place if someone with sufficient skills and resourses wants to find you. Period. And by that I mean actually knock on your front door having traced you through your online activity. That may sound serious, but I dont consider it any more serious an invasion of ones privacy than the folks who phone you and try and sell you something or try and extract information from you about who you buy various services from etc, or people who send unsolicited mail by post. Yes its an invasion of your privacy, but how ya gonna stop it? Well, the easy answer to the everlasting cookie, the so called, immortal cookie, is to either configure the Web Browser not to accept cookies or delete the cookie after every browser session. Cool. Kind regards, Scott, Paul.