Following Ask.com’s anonymous search announcement, Microsoft is also jumping on the search privacy bandwagon by announcing it will make all records of search queries anonymous after 18 months on its Live Search service.

Starting July 23, Microsoft will unveil a new privacy policy to give users greater control over what the company does with information it gathers about their online behavior. According to reports, the software maker will allow users to decline to receive ads based on their surfing habits. The company also said it plans to store customer search data separately from data tied to people, e-mail addresses or phone numbers.

The recent announcements from major search engines including Google, Ask and Microsoft’s Live Search, reflects the growing concern to respond to users' worries about privacy whilst gathering the necessary information to improve their service.

Peter Cullen, the chief privacy strategist at Microsoft, also called on others within the internet search industry to adopt industry-wide privacy principles, to regulate the use of personal information for the purposes of search advertising.