Yahoo to scrub personal data after three months
The move could pressure rivals Google and Microsoft to do the same
IDG News Service - Yahoo Inc. said Wednesday it will anonymize most of the data it collects about people's Web searches after three months, a move that could put further pressure on competitors Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to do the same because of privacy concerns.
Yahoo, which previously kept the data for 13 months, will now retain it for the least amount of time compared to its rivals.
Google said in September that it would anonymize data after nine months, down from 18 months. Microsoft keeps data for 18 months, although it said earlier this month it would reduce the period to six months if its rivals did the same.
A European Union group has recommended that search engines discard data after six months. The recommendation has been endorsed by data protection officials from the 27 countries in the European Union. Countries could eventually choose to enforce the recommendation, which will be discussed further next year.
Privacy campaigners have expressed concerns that Web users could potentially be identified on the basis of search terms and other data. An IP address can identify a person's ISP as well as their approximate geographic location. It also has been shown that a person can be identified on the basis of search terms they've entered.
Technology companies have maintained they needed to keep the data to observe how people use their search engines in order to improve their search services, such as increasing the relevancy of results.
Yahoo said it would anonymize its "user log data," although the company did not define exactly what data it collects. Other data that will be scrubbed include page views and clicks on ads.
Yahoo said it will keep some data for up to six months for security and fraud reasons, as part of some "specific and limited exceptions," it said in a statement. It may also be required to keep some data longer to meet legal obligations, it said.
- Combating Identity Theft in a Mobile, Social World Offering identity theft protection and remediation allows businesses to give their workforce the confidence to efficiently engage while bringing financial reward to the...
- After a Breach: Managing Identity Theft Effectively This white paper from LifeLock Business Solutions notes that FIs in addition to managing fraud should strive to turn a negative event for...
- Combating Identity Fraud in a Virtual World This slide presentation reveals findings from the Javelin Strategy & Research 2012 Identity Fraud Report about mobile and social trends, the real risks...
- Cloud Computing Drives IT and Business Agility Hybrid Cloud Accelerates Time to Value What is the main focus for IT in your organization - cost or agility? Many IT discussions today focus on cost controls rather...
- Data Protection and Disaster Recovery with iSCSI and VMware Get this on demand webcast now
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics... All Privacy White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!