Yahoo joins Google: We want to stalk Americans for 18 months

Yahoo has announced that it will join Google in stalking Americans electronically in some form for 18 months (Yahoo had in 2008 reduced the amount of time it retained users’ Internet search data to a mere 90 days). Yahoo plans to extend the retention period this summer. Retained search data will include user’s IP addresses and cookies, which means data can be linked to individual devices or people. After 18 months, Yahoo will retain most of the data, but anonymize it so it cannot be linked to individuals.

Google has a slight variation in their policy which is being misreported in wake of this story: From Google: “We believe anonymizing IP addresses after 9 months and cookies in our search engine logs after 18 months strikes the right balance.” Stalkers do have some sense of decorum after all.