Yahoo lowers the bar, in a good way this time

Yahoo might not have named its new CEO yet but that hasn’t stopped higher-ups from announcing a huge executive decision today that will hopefully help set a new standard for other big internet companies. In a press release this morning, Yahoo announced a major change to its data-retention policy that is a huge leap for internet privacy. Yahoo’s new policy states that it will hold logged data tied to user accounts for 90-days before making said data anonymous. In other words, Yahoo – like Google, Microsoft and many others – keeps a behavioral record of user actions in its system and uses that data in a variety of ways. Now, after a period of 90 days, Yahoo will retain the data but will alter cookies, remove portions of IP addresses and erase a variety of other sensitive information. By contrast, Google takes these measures after a period of nine months, down from 18 months as of this past September, and Microsoft still holds onto the data for 18 months. Microsoft, currently the least user-friendly of the bunch, has been outspoken about its desire for an industry standard that all companies would adhere to and has been making moves recently to help push the concept forward. In the meantime, Microsoft is all talk while Yahoo is all do. The transition to the new time frame of 90 days will begin in January and should be implemented across all Yahoo services some time in 2010.

[Via LA Times]

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