While most companies are trying to shorten the time they hold onto consumer search data, Yahoo has worked out that a really good way to make itself unpopular is to hold onto it for much longer.
Starting sometime in mid-July, Yahoo will hold raw search log file data, including IP addresses, cookies and search-related information, for up to 18 months. At the moment it retains such data for 90 days. Writing in her blog, Yahoo's chief trust officer, Anne Toth, claimed that the change was designed to give consumers a more robust and personalized search experience while also bringing Yahoo into closer alignment with industry-wide data retention norms.
"In announcing this change, we have gone back to the drawing board to ensure that our policies will support the innovative products we want to deliver for our consumers."
Yahoo is trying to claw back some customers and find a purpose in life at the moment. Currently it is only financially growing thanks to its ownership of some key Chinese companies. With its search engine handed on to Microsoft, it is not doing well enough to annoy its small number of loyal fans.