Microsoft will start erasing data from Web searches after 18 months, unless it receives consent to store it longer. Microsoft is calling on the rest of the Internet industry to support it, with a common set of privacy practices. This week Yahoo will lay out its own plans for a similar policy for making search data anonymous within 13 months of receiving it.
These follow privacy regulations announced last month by Google, the leading Internet search provider. Privacy groups say they are especially concerned by Google's ability to match search data with information collected from other services like e-mail, instant messaging and maps.