Yahoo has been applauded for announcing that announcing that it would remove personally identifiable information from its database after 90 days. According to the Financial Times, Yahoo currently anonymises user log data after 13 months, compared to nine months for Google search data. Microsoft keeps its users’ search data for 18 months but had pledged to lower that to six months if other search engines did the same. Yahoo’s new policy applies to logs of views and clicks of all its pages and advertising, as well as search.
Microsoft and Google have argued that lowering the time they retain customer data would have an adverse impact on their products for consumers and advertisers, which are increasingly personalised. Marketing agencies have however sided with with Yahoo’s claim that its service would not be adversely affected, even though Yahoo did not consult with its advertisers before the announcement.