WASHINGTON, (RPRN) 6/18/2009— Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) Vice President of Policy and Head of Privacy Anne Toth testified earlier today before the House Energy & Commerce Committee subcommittee at a hearing regarding “Behavioral Advertising: Industry Practices and Consumer Expectations.” Toth outlined Yahoo!’s comprehensive approach to online privacy while offering suggestions for how industry can continue to innovate in a way that aligns with government’s efforts. In setting the stage for her testimony, Toth, an eleven-year Yahoo! veteran and one of the very first dedicated privacy professionals at an online company, stated “quite simply, my job is about making sure Yahoo! earns and maintains our users’ trust each and every day.”
Yahoo! recently announced the industry’s leading data retention policy – one that is more privacy-protective than its competitors’ policies, both in terms of scope of data covered and time the web log data is held in identifiable form. Under the new policy Yahoo! will retain the vast majority of its web log data in identifiable form for only 90 days with limited exceptions to help fight fraud, preserve systems security, and meet legal obligations.
When describing Yahoo!’s approach to privacy, Toth stated, “Our business depends almost entirely on the trust of our users. At Yahoo!, our approach to privacy couples front-end transparency, meaningful choice, and user education with back-end protections for data that limit how much information and how long personal identifiers are maintained.”
Toth also spent time outlining Yahoo!’s industry-leading, interest-based advertising offerings, as well as the mechanisms the company offers to help users manage their online experiences. “Just as our users value the relevant content we provide, we take a similar approach in the way we deliver advertising,” Toth said. “Put simply, customized advertising helps consumers save time and energy since they are more likely to find what they are looking for when we’ve anticipated what they are most interested in.”
In terms of the mechanisms available, Toth pointed out that every user has access to the Yahoo! Privacy Center, a central location for information about Yahoo!’s privacy practices. A link to the Privacy Center can be found on virtually all of the pages across the Yahoo! family of web sites. The Privacy Center was redesigned in 2008 to improve navigation and provide information on special topics related to Internet privacy. One of the centerpieces of the Privacy Center is the “opt-out” page, a place where users can easily find and exercise their choice to decline interest-based advertising.
“The more our users know about our privacy protection efforts, the more effective those efforts are. Beginning last spring, Yahoo! launched an extensive user education campaign that explained the company’s approach to privacy, customization of services and the tools Yahoo! provides to customers, such as the opt-out, so that they may shape their Internet experience,” continued Toth.
“Experience has taught me that most advances in online consumer protection are driven by industry initiatives and an imperative to protect our users. As Congress considers its role in helping protect consumer privacy online, Yahoo! hopes that legislators will consider an approach that enables providers to keep pace not only with technological advances but with consumer demands and expectations as well,” concluded Toth.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com.
SOURCE: Yahoo! Inc.
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