Search engines have increasingly gotten involved in protecting endusers from hostile and intrusive elements on the internet, and they’ve also become more active in internet privacy issues as consumers are getting more educated about issues surrounding data privacy. Ask.com  has tried to differentiate themselves by being progressive  about communicating their data retention policy and by enabling users to define how long data is retained, for instance, while Google has revised their data retention policy  as well as worked to aggressively block or warn endusers about websites containing adware, spyware, and other exploits. Yahoo! even recently paired up with McAfee  to assess and improve the safety of sites displayed in their search results.
Also, sites which do not offer a “Platform for Privacy Preferences Project” or P3P protocol in page headers or in a file on their site servers might also be indicating a slightly inferior status.
So, for the sake of insuring that your site passes some potential quality scoring assessments, I suggest the following:
- Periodically review to insure your posted policy is accurate;
Increasingly, quality issues are impacting a site’s natural search marketing presence, so keeping a handle on the factors that can impact quality scores is becoming a vital component of search engine optimization.
These companies are courting disaster in terms of negative publicity as well as their rankings in search engines by being out of compliance with their own stated policies.
(Also check out this other detailed article on the subject by Bill Slawski, “Privacy Policies And Search Engines “.)