AOL customers start to become exposed

By Justin Mann on August 9, 2006, 2:09 PM
Some of the first bits of dangerous backlash are being seen by AOL's shortsighted release of search data last week. Even though AOL, with a red face, pulled the data very soon after its release, that hasn't stopped many from mirroring it and pouring through the contents. Already, people's real names and addresses are being exposed, much to their dismay:

Ms. Arnold, who agreed to discuss her searches with a reporter, said she was shocked to hear that AOL had saved and published three months worth of them. My goodness, it's my whole personal life, she said. I had no idea somebody was looking over my shoulder.
While the details of any one particular persons searches are not something most people would care about, there are many who see this as a goldmine to begin harvesting information, whether it be for just curiosity or actual malicious intent. There is still no official word from AOL on what they plan to do about their mistake. Though they apologized to this lady in particular, that's not making amends to the thousands of customers who were affected. And the lady they apologized to, what's her response?:

Ms. Arnold says she loves online research, but the disclosure of her searches has left her disillusioned. In response, she plans to drop her AOL subscription. “We all have a right to privacy,” she said. “Nobody should have found this all out.”
Indeed. I wonder if AOL will see many cancellations because of this.




User Comments: 4

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spike said:
To be honest, I'm not all that sure that ISP's should be even allowed to tie search histories to names and adresses. That kind of information should be private unless thee's a darned good reason for collating such information (like suspicions of serious crime etc)
Tedster said:
Just another example of how AOL abuses its customers.I'm surprised they've lasted this long.
zephead said:
i loathed AOL so much before this happened i don't know if i'll actually be able to increase my hate of said organization. at least now mabye people will wake up and stop wasting thier money/privacy.
newbaficator007 said:
well, aol has been going downhill for so long, how much is left to go, really?
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