It’s not often that Yahoo makes a move bold enough to put pressure on Google. Today it does just that, with news that it will reduce its data retention policy from 13 months to just 3.
At a time when Google is pushing ahead with actively using personalized data to improve search results, Yahoo is banking on our fears that search engines know too much about us already.
Under Yahoo’s new policy, the company will strip out portions of users’ IP addresses, alter small tracking files known as “cookies” and delete other potential personally identifiable information after 90 days in most cases. In cases involving fraud and data security, the company will anonymize the data after six months.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo also said it will expand the scope of data that it anonymizes to encompass not only search engine logs, but also page views, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks. That information is used to personalize online content and advertising.
Google has been reluctant to make a similar move, claiming that it needs at least 9 months worth of data–in order to keep improving its search results.
Here’s what I’d like to hear from you. Are you really that worried about the data kept by the search engines? For me, I’m not exactly buzzing with excitement over this announcement. Now, if Yahoo were to allow me to export all of my data, that would be a cool move.