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Searches on Yahoo kept in database

John Moe Apr 19, 2011

If you go to Yahoo to search for anything (which you would do after you’ve already searched on Google, Bing and Blekko?), those search records will now be kept for 18 months. Used to be just 90 days. The company announced this change in policy on Friday and also said it might keep other user information for longer, too. This comes as privacy legislation is making it way through Congress (and something is likely to pass this year).

From the Associated Press:

“In late 2008, Yahoo became the first major Internet search engine to commit to “anonymizing” a wide range of user data — including search logs — after 90 days in most cases. Microsoft Corp., which powers Yahoo’s search results under a partnership reached last year, followed in early 2010 with its own pledge to anonymize search records after six months.

Yahoo anonymizes the data by stripping out portions of users’ numeric Internet addresses, altering small tracking files known as “cookies” and deleting other potential personally identifiable information. Under the new policy, Yahoo will keep such personally identifiable data for the full 18 months before anonymizing the records.”

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