Data retention is big business in the online world. Search engines rely on it to better understand and target users, but the length of time they keep such data is always up for debate.Back in 2008 the European Union called for a data retention limit of 6 months, when the norm was (and still remains) more typically 12-18 months. At the time Google protested, but soon after Yahoo! surprised everyone by dropping its data retention time to just 90 days. Others did not follow suit.AdChoices广告Jump back to today, and Yahoo! has decided it can no longer remain competitive or serve customers well by sticking with just 90 days of data. Instead Yahoo! will retain 18 months of data logs. Some effort will go into informing users of Yahoo! services that this is happening, but in a few weeks time it will become the company’s new policy to keep your data much longer.How this effects you as a user depends on whether you rely on Yahoo! or not for searching the Internet. If you use an alternative like Google, then your data is already being held on servers for double-digit months. If your reason for choosing Yahoo! was the short data retention window, then it’s time to look for an alternative search provider.Read more at the Yahoo! Policy Blog, via The RegisterMatthew’s OpinionYahoo! may use the excuse that it is just bringing its service in line with the competition, but that’s not 100% the case. One of the newest search engines on the market, and one that is growing in popularity, is DuckDuckGo. How long does it keep your data? It doesn’t. There is no data retention, it just serves you results and moves on.What Yahoo! doesn’t discuss is why after more than two years it has suddenly realized it can’t function with 90 day data limits. The company just states they will only keep the data for as long as they need it, which apparently means its future plans require a lot more data.Another thing to consider is do users care about this stuff? Apparently some do otherwise Don’t Track tools in browsers and search engines like DuckDuckGo wouldn’t exist. But these are still a minority of users, and I am sure most don’t care or have never even considered such data is of use, let alone being stored by different companies.