Akamai and Acerno backtrack on retention

October 9, 2009

Update: As of 10/14 our page checker now reports that Acerno’s policy has changed again to read that information will be kept for one year, not three years. Good news!

Back in August, I posted about Acerno shortening its data retention policy from three years to one year, bringing it in line with its parent company, Akamai, and an emerging one-year standard among the major players.

Now it looks like they’ve reconsidered.

Despite calls from privacy advocates to shorten the retention period for consumer behavioral data, Acerno has now decided that three years seemed just about right, and has modified its privacy policy accordingly.

Oddly enough, Acerno didn’t deem either of the changes to be material enough to highlight in any way, despite an oblique promise (elsewhere in the policy) to at least note the date of an update:

We reserve the right to make changes to this Privacy Policy at any time. While we expect most changes to be minor, there may be changes that are more significant. As such, we will state the date the policy was last updated. We encourage you to review our privacy policy on a regular basis.

At a moment when transparency and consistency should be paramount, it’s a surprise to find Akamai, industry leader and NAI-member, moving (quietly) in the wrong direction.

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