Yahoo Holds On to Personal Search Data 6x Longer
As outlined in Yahoo's typical usage policy, it is supposed to retain personal user search criteria for a maximum of 3 months, after which the data is purged from the system. Recently, Yahoo has announced that it plans to extend the search records up to 18 months time. Oftentimes very sensitive topics may be searched through Yahoo or other popular search engines pertaining to financial or medical aspects of one's life. Yahoo's primary defense as to why it has extended the data retention is to "...support the innovative products we want to deliver to our consumers," says Anne Toth who is Yahoo's policy executive. Back in December 2008, Toth ironically was completely behind the the 3 month cap on searches as it seeks to promote a greater trust from its users. Based on company research, Yahoo's user base actually dropped from 16% after instating its 3 month policy and then dropped another 20% later that year. Yahoo seeks to follow in the footsteps of search engines like Bing and Google which both have an 18 month limit on personal search collection.