Online search companies Google, Yahoo, Ask.com and Microsoft are tightening their privacy policies in the face of mounting public, congressional and regulatory agency concern about the vast amounts of personal data they gather and store.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced it would make all data on search queries anonymous after 18 months. This week, Yahoo is to outline plans to make a user’s search history anonymous within 13 months. On Friday, Ask.com said users could ask the firm not to retain their Web searches.
The moves come as the Federal Trade Commission signaled that it might take action to modify or block Google’s $3.1 billion acquisition of DoubleClick, a major online advertising company. […]