Users Outraged by AOL Gaffe

Users advocate boycott, following blunder that exposes search logs of 650,000 AOL customers

August 8, 2006

1 Min Read
Users Outraged by AOL Gaffe

The flames were hot and nasty today as users swarmed to message boards to complain about AOL's "research" blunder, which exposed the search logs of more than 650,000 of its customers to the public.

"AOL, you betrayed your users," blogs Zoli Erdos, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur. "If they are any smart, they will boycott your services."

A blogger named TechCrunch put a finer point on AOL's gaffe: "The data includes personal names, addresses, social security numbers and everything else someone might type into a search box," TechCrunch notes. "The most serious problem is the fact that many people often search on their own name, or those of their friends and family, to see what information is available about them on the net. Combine these ego searches with porn queries and you have a serious embarrassment. Combine them with "buy ecstasy" and you have evidence of a crime. Combine it with an address, social security number, etc., and you have an identity theft waiting to happen. The possibilities are endless."

Get the rest of the story at Dark Reading.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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