– Yahoo Updates Privacy Controls on Search, Pageviews – Yahoo Updates Privacy Controls on Search, Pageviews

Washington Post, By David Kaplan, December 17, 2008
Yahoo, perhaps hoping to get the focus off its finances and CEO search, will reduce the amount of time it holds on to user data to three months from just over a year. After that period, Yahoo will “anonymize” user log data within 90 days with limited exceptions for fraud, security and legal obligations. The Sunnyvale, CA-based company is also expanding its privacy policy beyond search log data to include info on pageviews, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks. Back in August, with an eye to mollifying Congress and state legislators who were taking a harder look at online privacy and behavioral advertising, Yahoo said it was broadening “opt-out” controls covering targeted ads across its portal. Yahoo offered up the new tools as part of its response to a Congressional inquiry about ad targeting sent to 33 companies, including AOL (NYSE: TWX), Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) as well as internet service providers like Cablevision (NYSE: CVC), Cox Communications and Charter Communications (NSDQ: CHTR), from the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In September 2007, Google said it would discard user data after nine months. With a new administration and Congress taking office next month, Yahoo’s move will increase the existing pressure on the other companies to match it on privacy controls.