Yahoo is attempting to set the industry standard regarding how it manages user data by cutting the amount of time that it keeps information on individuals’ searches.
Under the new rules, the search engine giant announced that it will retain personal data for no longer than 90 days except in cases of "fraud, security or legal obligations." In those cases, it will be kept for up to six months.
Previously, Yahoo stored query information for 13 months before anonymizing it so that it cannot be traced back to an individual. Google holds this type of data for nine months and Microsoft for 18 months.
In addition to search data, Yahoo said it would purge information related to page views, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks.
"Responsible use of data is critical to establishing and maintaining user trust," explained vice president of Yahoo Anne Toth, according to AFP.
Internet search engines generally use such data to target advertisements toward what seem to be the searcher’s interests. But some have raised concerns about the potential for abuse with such data.