Yahoo Amends Privacy Policy, Drops User Logs After 3 Months

Paul Lilly

Following a change in its privacy policy, Yahoo can now boast having the shortest user data retention policy among its peers. The company said today it will begin anonymizing computer addresses, search records, and other user log data within 90 days, "with limited exceptions for fraud, security, and legal obligations," in which case Yahoo said it would retain system specific data for no more than six months. Prior to the change, Yahoo would retain the data for 13 months.

"In our world of customized online services, responsible use of data is critical to establishing and maintaining user trust," said Anne Toth , Yahoo!'s Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy. "We know that our users expect relevant and compelling content and advertising when they visit Yahoo!, but they also want assurances that we are focused on protecting their privacy."

The new limit puts Yahoo well ahead of its competition. Earlier this year, Google reduced its data retention time frame from 18 months to nine months, and Microsoft vowed to cut its data retention policy to six months if its rivals did the same.

Yahoo will begin implementing the new policy next month and says it will be effective across all of the company's services by the middle of 2010.

Image Credit: Yahoo

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