Remember what I mentioned about change sneaking through the back door?
Yahoo has taken the first step.
As reported by The New York Times:
Yahoo said Wednesday that it would limit to 90 days the time it holds some personally identifiable information related to searches to address growing concerns from privacy advocates, policy makers and government regulators.
Under the new policy, Yahoo will delete the last eight bits of the Internet Protocol, or I.P., address associated with a search query after 90 days. I.P. addresses are digital tags that can identify a specific computer. Yahoo will also hide cookie data related to each search log and strip out any personally identifiable information, like a name, phone number, address or Social Security number, from the query itself.
Yahoo’s new data retention policy is the most restrictive among major search engines in the United States and will most likely put pressure on rivals like Google and Microsoft to shorten the time they keep information about their users.
It comes at a time when some privacy advocates are planning a renewed push for legislation that would regulate the data retention and online advertising practices of Internet companies, which they say has a stronger chance of passing with a new Congress and president in Washington.
Already Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, praised Yahoo for setting a new privacy standard.
“I urge other leading online companies to match or beat the commitments announced by Yahoo,” Mr. Markey said in a press release.
Previously, Yahoo kept search logs for 13 months. In September, Google began to strip out some personally identifiable information related to searches after 9 months. Microsoft keeps the information for 18 months.
Is the Constitution about to be removed from life support?
U.S. Congressman, (D-CA)