AOL releases search data, uproar ensues
TechCrunch: “AOL has released very private data about its users without their permission. While the AOL username has been changed to a random ID number, the abilitiy to analyze all searches by a single user will often lead people to easily determine who the user is, and what they are up to. The data includes personal names, addresses, social security numbers and everything else someone might type into a search box.”
It is amazing how “tone deaf” AOL is here in light of their recent poor publicity over customer service and the major backlash against search data being provided to the government related to child pornography months ago- Microsoft, Google and Yahoo were all impacted by that story and I can’t believe that AOL somehow missed it. While I can understand why AOL might want to do this research and even publish findings related to the data, to release the raw data just seems like very poor judgement.
The original post from AOL was located here, but appears to have had its content removed. I expect to see much more on this story in the mainstream press tomorrow morning.