Search Engines Scrubbing User Data

Post from iPhone:

In December, Yahoo announced they were going to reduce the length of time they retain user data to six months. Microsoft also jumped in and said they would do the same and urged Google to follow suit.

This is a pretty slimey, anticompetitive tactic disguised as “protecting user privacy”. See, one of Google’s main advantages is the data they can glean from user activity. Of course, Google can scramble the data as they offered to do in the YouTube lawsuit but that isn’t the point. Yahoo and MS are crippling themselves in an attempt to cripple Google. It is the same tactic used by retailers – “if you find a lower price, we’ll match it”. All this does is freeze any kind of price competition by eliminating any benefits of doing so.

This Yahoo gambit has been going on for a while, years in fact, but it just doesn’t seem to help. It draws privacy group attention and they always say it isn’t enough. Google either ignores them or scrambles the data. Usually if Google responds, it brings the attention of the privacy groups so you see less action on Google’s part.

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