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Old 08-07-2006, 02:47 PM   #1
iamback
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AOL Proudly Releases Massive Amounts of Private Data
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AOL must have missed the uproar over the DOJ’s demand for “anonymized” search data last year that caused all sorts of pain for Microsoft and Google. That’s the only way to explain their release of data that includes 20 million web queries from 650,000 AOL users.
Read more at TechCrunch.

   
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:35 AM   #2
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Horrifying for AOL subscribers. I have one sibling who maintains an AOL account, but I think she does all of her surfing via MSIE, so doesn't use AOL's search. I can hope so, anyway.

   
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by iamback
AOL Proudly Releases Massive Amounts of Private Data
There was an article on the front page of today’s New York Times, telling the story of how easy it was to identify someone by looking at a variety of searches by that ID: “A face is exposed for AOL searcher No. 4417749.”

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Old 08-09-2006, 11:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ktinkel
There was an article on the front page of today’s New York Times, telling the story of how easy it was to identify someone by looking at a variety of searches by that ID: “A face is exposed for AOL searcher No. 4417749.”
Of course researchers are all over the data already - white hat and black hat. One of my fellow developers in the Wikka project is in cognitive psychology and already exploring ways to research the data together with his colleagues .. that's white hat of course. And there'll be numerous projects like that.

What the black hats could do is far more scary...

I wonder how many subscribers AOL will lose over this? Many won't be even aware of what happened let alone the consequences - so the more it's written about the better, IMO.

   
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ElyseC
Horrifying for AOL subscribers. I have one sibling who maintains an AOL account, but I think she does all of her surfing via MSIE, so doesn't use AOL's search. I can hope so, anyway.
If she's using the AOL client app then no matter what search engine she's using, the data would be recorded because she's using the AOL servers to access the Internet - at least that's what I understand from the discussions I've read.

   
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:02 PM   #6
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I wonder how many subscribers AOL will lose over this? Many won't be even aware of what happened let alone the consequences - so the more it's written about the better, IMO.
Absolutely. But since AOL has announced it is changing its business model, maybe they will not mind if lots of subscribers cancel their old agreements.

But trying to draw implications from that would just too cynical …

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