Data Storage and Anonymisation

In order to provide products and services, Yahoo collects and stores information from user account registration and site usage. We generally refer to the information that we collect in connection with site usage as “user log data”.

Yahoo’s policy is to de-identify search user log data within 18 months of collection, with limited exceptions to meet legal obligations.

In addition to the other purposes for which we collect information, other types of log data (i.e. not relating to search, such as ad views, ad clicks, page views and page clicks) are retained for a longer period in order to power innovative product development, provide personalised and customised services, and better enable our security systems to detect and defend against fraudulent activity. Yahoo takes additional steps so that data collected and used to customise interest-based advertising (along with some content) on Yahoo is not associated with personally identifiable information. We describe the data we store as well as processes in more detail here.

You can also modify information that you have provided to Yahoo through the Yahoo products or services you may use.

Account information

  • When you register with Yahoo or submit information to Yahoo, a temporary copy of that information is routinely made to prevent accidental loss of your information through a computer malfunction or human error.
  • Yahoo keeps your account information active in our user registration databases in order to provide immediate access to your personalisation preferences each time you visit Yahoo.
  • If you ask Yahoo to delete your Yahoo account, in most cases your account will be deactivated and then deleted from our user registration database in approximately 40 days, with longer hold periods for accounts registered in: Australia or New Zealand (approx. 90 days); Brazil or Taiwan (approx. 180 days). This delay is necessary to discourage users from engaging in fraudulent activity.
  • Please note that any information that we have copied may remain in backup storage for a period of time after your deletion request. This may be the case even though no account information remains in our active user databases.

Server log files

  • The Yahoo computers (called "servers") that send your web pages and advertising banners process and store an enormous amount of information every day. These computer records are known as “log files”.
  • Log files are used for analysis, research, auditing and other purposes, as described above. After this information has been used, it is stored and is inaccessible. Until the information is stored, your Yahoo ID may remain in our active server log files.


  • Anonymisation is a process of removing or replacing personal identifiers in data records so that the resulting data is no longer personally identifiable. This is also referred to as de-identification. We use these terms interchangeably.
  • Yahoo uses a multi-step process to replace, truncate or delete identifiers in order to de-identify data. We are committed to continuous improvements and implementation of our data protection and de-identification measures.


  • Yahoo’s anonymisation policy applies only to search log data.
  • Yahoo stores this data in an identifiable form for up to 18 months.
  • IP addresses within search user log data will be anonymised or deleted within 6 months of the time of collection.

Yahoo Privacy and Cookie Policy

To find out how Yahoo treats your personal information, please visit our Privacy Policy. This page describes current Yahoo practices with respect to this product or topic. Information on this page may change as Yahoo adds or removes features.

Personalised Experience

By offering you content and advertising that is relevant and tailored to your interests, Yahoo provides a more compelling online experience. Update your content or search preferences, manage your advertising choices or learn more about relevant advertising.

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