It would be more accurate, however, to talk about the perception of privacy. Search engines save information related to our search behavior (cookies etc.) for some 13-to-18 months, which makes the notion of privacy a bit of an oxymoron. That’s long enough for them to have their way with our information.
The bottom line is that by holding onto user data, search engines can better target advertising, helping them monetize their services better. Concerns about consumer privacy are just spin!
Related: Can privacy be a premium service?