Data Storage and Anonymisation

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

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

In addition to the other purposes for which we collect information, other types of log data (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 personalized and customized services, and better enable our security systems to detect and defend against fraudulent activity.  

You can also modify information 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 copy of that information is routinely made to prevent accidental loss of your information through a computer malfunction or human error and to provide internal analysis and service of our systems.
  • Yahoo may keep your account information in order to provide immediate access to your personalization preferences each time you visit Yahoo.
  • If you ask Yahoo to delete your account for Yahoo products or services (“Yahoo Account”), in most cases your account will be deactivated and then deleted from our user registration database in approximately one month, unless we’re prevented from doing so due to technical, legal, abuse detection and prevention, or other limitations. Longer hold periods exist for accounts registered in: Australia or New Zealand (approx. 90 days); India, Brazil, Hong Kong or Taiwan (approx. 180 days), unless we’re prevented from doing so due to technical, legal or other limitations. These delays are necessary to discourage users from engaging in fraudulent activity.
  • Account information may be retained for a longer period when required by law.  For example, our paid Fantasy Sports products may be required to retain account information and user activity records for longer periods to meet legal and regulatory obligations in certain jurisdictions.  
  • Some but not all Services may offer you ways to access and remove content that you provided to that Service. Yahoo may retain your content for a period of time for backup, archival, legal preservation, or audit purposes. 
  • Please note that any information that we have copied may remain in back-up storage for some period of time after your deletion request. This may be the case even though no account information remains in our active user databases.
  • Ad customisation categories are a rolling average of a person’s interest. This means they change over time based on a person’s most recent activity. Most categories have a lifespan of anywhere from a few days to a few months. We tend to believe people are more likely to be interested in ads that reflect more recent visits and activity.

Server log files

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


  • Yahoo’s de-identification 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 de-identified or deleted within 6 months from the time of collection.

Updated on 1 February 2023