Microsoft offered to dramatically scale back its data retention policies -- if Google and Yahoo do the same, PCWorld reports. Microsoft proposed to adopt European guidelines that search query data not be kept longer than six months.
John Vassallo, vice president of E.U. affairs for Microsoft, said that the company couldn't unillaterally switch to a six month policy, as that would result in "a very unlevel playing field."
Microsoft retains search data for 18 months before anonymizing it. In September, Google said it would anonymize IP addresses connected to specific searches that are recorded in its server logs after nine months. Google, which holds about 80 percent of the European search market, previously did that after 18 months. Yahoo anonymizes data after 13 months.