Microsoft and Yahoo are both limiting how long their internet search engines can hold on to data relating to users.
The move follows an announcement by rival Ask.com that it would implement a new AskEraser system to let people erase their search history.
Microsoft will keep personal data for no longer than 18 months, while Yahoo will get rid of the information within 13 months.
The search engines use the personal data collected from computers' internet addresses to more accurately target Internet Advertising, meaning that advertisers can reach a more relevant audience.
However, some critics have pointed out that the data could potentially be stolen by hackers or subpoenaed in a legal investigation, prompting privacy concerns.
Meanwhile representatives of Microsoft and Yahoo will testify at congressional hearings in the US relating to consolidation in the internet advertising industry and user privacy. The hearing will also focus on Google's planned takeover of online advertising firm DoubleClick.
Source: Direct Traffic