Search giant changes policy to keep user search results for longer.
In a blog post, Yahoo! today announced it will keep user search history for 18 months. The search giant had previously claimed to keep the records for only three months and said that they would purge the information in order to maintain trust with their users. The change will come into effect from July, with Yahoo! users being notified of the change in the upcoming weeks.
“Today, Yahoo! is making an announcement of our intention to change our log file data retention policy to meet the needs of our consumers for personalization and relevance, while living up to their expectations of trust. Over the last 3 years, the way we and other companies offer services online and the way consumers experience the Internet has changed dramatically. So, we will keep our log file data longer than we have been – offering consumers a more robust individualized experience – while we continue our innovation in the areas of transparency and choice to protect privacy. We believe it’s a move forward for Yahoo! and our users,” said Anne Toth, Chief Trust Officer of Yahoo!
Unsurprisingly, the action has got everyone up and arms against the company. One of the major factors for Yahoo’s sudden change in policy, according to privacy advocates, is that the search giant needs the information in order to provide a more targeted advertising for third parties, enabling them to have a broader angle on what users search for and click on. Anne Toth however, argues that the ‘competitive landscape’ for search engines have changed, and stated that other engines are retaining data for longer as well.
Yahoo! is one of the most popular search engines in the world but this move could severely hamper their reputation among users concerned of their online privacy.