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Yahoo Cuts Data Retention Time To 3 Months

 12:11 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Cuts Data Retention Time To 3 Months [reuters.com]
Search engine Yahoo! Inc will cut to three months the time it stores personal data gathered from Web surfing, making its retention policy the shortest among peers, the company said on Wednesday.

The company will "anonymize" the computer addresses of its users within three months in most cases, from a prior standard of 13 months. It is reserving the right to keep data for up to six months if fraud or system security are involved.
"Google first went to 18 months and started this competition," said Ari Schwartz, vice president at the Center for Democracy and Technology, a privacy advocacy group.

Yahoo's pledge "is more significant because they are getting rid of some data after 90 days and they actually have an implementation plan to get this done," he added.



 1:06 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

This is a good move by Yahoo. Whatever the detail of the move is, the fact of the matter is that the protection of privacy and personal information, which includes how people browse, is a joke. research has shown that Privacy Policies (which include some of the biggest brands on the web) seek only to offer companies the greatest possible means to monetize the data they collect, under the famous opening liner of "We take you privacy concerns very seriously". The flip of this is that people fake their information when submitting it online.

While it is still early days, I can't help but think that the next generation of successful players online are going to be those that treat the usage of personal information as if it were there own. As business is not a personal entity taking responsbility for the data is something that needs to come from the top.

Let's hope others follow suit.

[edited by: 2clean at 1:07 pm (utc) on Dec. 17, 2008]


 1:06 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Making the IP anonymous is one thing, but I suppose they're still keeping hold of the search query information? That can have privacy implications as well. The article could do with being more specific about what they actually do hang on to after the dates these search engines say they will get rid of info. Some queries can be pretty revealing, with or without an IP.


 2:47 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Kudos to Yahoo!


 4:15 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Now will MSN follow suit after making a big song and dance of not wanting to do this first?


 7:26 pm on Dec 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some queries can be pretty revealing, with or without an IP.

Wasn't it some of AOL's search data that got out where the user could be tracked all on their search query information, like the areas that they searched around (grocery stores, doctors, restaurants, etc...)?



 6:08 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yep, that was AOL.

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