Yahoo Inc. has decided to reduce the time for which it retains online search information of its users, to 90 days from 13 months, which could further put pressure on other search engines, especially Google.
The move could well become a benchmark for search industry, and compel both Google and Microsoft, which store data for nine months and six months respectively, to curtail the timeline for retaining online search information of its users.
However, Yahoo asserted that it will keep the information stored for up to six months in case of online frauds and breaches.
The move is said to be in line with Microsoft’s earlier demands for slashing the time limits for which search engines keep users’ data, after European regulators urged the software giant to reduce its timeline likewise.
Quoting the importance of this step in setting a benchmark for search industry, Yahoo’s policy and privacy chief, Anne Toth said, “This policy represents Yahoo!'s assessment of the minimum amount of time we need to retain data in order to respond to the needs of our business while deepening our trusted relationship with users”.
Now, it will be interesting to see Google’s stand over the issue, as the goal of safeguarding users’ privacy while searching the web will be immaterial without its constructive response.
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Yahoo's decision to slash the amount of time it will keep search logs is a welcomed one. Whether this will help its search market share is highly unlikely though. Google still has the upper hand and Yahoo's decision may backfire during a time when advertisers are more demanding when it comes to data mining and return on investment.
Yahoo to shorten logs of user activity to 3 months
(New York Times)