Yahoo to retain search data for 18 months, says it's in your best interest

We've heard this one before: a seemingly well intentioned corporation makes promises to uphold user anonymity, but when market pressure proves too much to handle, it's left to weigh the benefits of privacy over profit. Well, it looks like Yahoo's not immune to such goings on, as it's just announced that it will renege on its previous data retention promises and hold on to raw search data for 18 months. That's a pretty significant change, as the previous policy boasted data retention limits of only 90 days. If you ask Yahoo, though, it's just good business. In a post to its policy blog, Anne Toth said "we will keep our log file data longer than we have been – offering consumers a more robust individualized experience – while we continue our innovation in the areas of transparency and choice to protect privacy." We suspect "more robust individualized experience" actually means more aggressive targeted ads, but we'll just have to wait and see. The new policy goes into effect this July.