What in the world was AOL thinking?

Posted by joy

By now, most of you have probably heard about the public release of hundreds of thousands of search query records by AOL ostensibly for research purposes. While the search queries were supposed to be anonymized by subsituting AOL usernames with numbers, the information in the search queries themselves are quite sensitive including names, addresses, SSN numbers and even includes some alarming search queries.

An AOL spokesman has since apologized for the leak, but as they say, the horse is already out of the barn. Not to mention that I’m sure there are attorneys already looking into this.

Update: The NY Times was able to track down a woman in Georgia via her AOL search requests included in the released data.

Also, CNET lists some of the search queries.

[tags]AOL, AOL data leak [/tags]

One Response to “What in the world was AOL thinking?”

  1. AOLSearchLogs.com Says:

    We have created a web interface to the data. Whether the data is sensitive, you will be the judge. http://www.aolsearchlogs.com

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