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Endy



Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 4079
Location: Lost within my own thoughts.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:13 pm    Post subject: AOL Reply with quote

Aren't you glad you quit using this [filtered] ages ago? http://aolconfessions.ytmnd.com/
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Vuen



Joined: 31 Aug 1999
Posts: 4968
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:28 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

Here are some useful links for those of us who don't like reading our news through an animated GIF:

The story in the YTMND:
http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/08/06/aol-proudly-releases-massive-amounts-of-user-search-data/

The story on CNN, which follows the searches of dozens of very interesting (and extremely easily identifiable) users:
http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6103098.html?part=rss&tag=6103098&subj=news

Web interfaces to the data:
http://aolsearchlogs.com/
http://www.aolsearchdatabase.com/

To quote the original story, "The utter stupidity of this is staggering." I couldn't have put it better myself.
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Endy



Joined: 31 Jul 2003
Posts: 4079
Location: Lost within my own thoughts.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

WOW - this is worse than I even could have thought. It's amazing how much you can figure out from a half dozen search terms. I wonder if AOL can still definitively link theese numbers to actual people. If so would they be obligated to turn this information over to law enforcment?

On a sidenote, search engine positioning companies are having an absolute field day. http://plentyoffish.wordpress.com/2006/08/06/aol-releases-googles-most-prized-keyword-list-google-is-gonna-get-mega-spammed/

Quote:

AOL user 311045 apparently owns a Scion XB automobile in need of new brake pads that is in the process of being upgraded with performance oil filters. User 311045, possibly a Florida resident, is preoccupied with another topic as well:

how to change brake pads on scion xb
2005 us open cup florida state champions
how to get revenge on a ex
how to get revenge on a ex girlfriend
how to get revenge on a friend who f---ed you over
replacement bumper for scion xb
florida department of law enforcement
crime stoppers florida


April 15, or tax day, happened to fall in the middle of AOL's published search logs. They spanned March, April and May. In March, AOL user 262465 apparently was searching for ways--legal or not--to lower his or her income taxes:

gerards restaurant in dc
tax avoidance and tax evasion
tax avoidance and tax evasion and donald korb
paul o'neil and tax avoidance
tax analysts
can a certified financial planner's advice can be deductible
how to calculate gpa
cherry blossoms


Is searching for detailed information on murder a crime? Not if you're an aspiring true crime writer, as user 1755245 seems to be:

federal bureau of investigation
murder in selmer tenn.
how many people buy true crime books
how well do true crime books sell
forming a limited liability corporation in alabama
licensing of private investigators in alabama
first degree murder kentucky criminal code state of kentucky
alabama association of private investigators
arkansas private investigator requirements
office of secretary of defense united states
st. margaret's hospital washington d.c.
john hinkley


Searches performed by one AOL user living near Charlton, Mass., appear to show how one man went through the process of divorce, finding an apartment, and fighting for custody of his children. This is what AOL user 4331025 typed in over a three-month period:

charlton ma apartments
gourmet condiments
cheer up plaques
mass custody definitions
kids health
wastewater jobs mass
visitation schedule
kids gym places in worcester
mass wastewater certification exam forums
counter surveilance products
sample visitation schedules
how are fat girlfriends
salem probate court decisions
revenge for a cheating spouse
civil war a fathers guide to wining custody
mass licensed daycare providers
fish chowder recipes
win your child custody war books for sale
martindale hubbell
first date dos and donts
how to satisfy a woman
penis enlargement
how to get revenge on exwife
how to do a background check with a liscense number











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"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone." - Bill Cosby
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Vuen



Joined: 31 Aug 1999
Posts: 4968
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:45 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

Yep. It's truly unbelievable. All sorts of seemingly innocuous things (such as the guy searching for information on repairing his car, specifying make and model) are easily identifiable information. What's worse is a lot of people search their own names just to see what the internet has to say about them.

Combine that with searches for things like "child porn", "how to strangle wife", "buying cocaine", "how to build a pipe bomb", "where to get an abortion", "pictures of dead people", "ways to commit suicide"...

I don't even know what to say about this. This is not just a few isolated breaches of privacy. This is half a million people.
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Mordax



Joined: 19 Apr 2002
Posts: 1584
Location: Mars

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:02 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

Heres hoping we see so many cases against AOL that they go bankrupt and die

...Unfortunatly most AOL users are either not too bright or arent computer litterate enough to find the information or understand whats going on
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killer_roach



Joined: 18 Jan 2001
Posts: 8048
Location: Lexington, Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:13 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

Just because the users aren't that smart doesn't give the company the right to exploit them. I may be a consumate capitalist, believing full well in Reagan's phrase "The nine scariest words are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help'", but there needs to be some sort of mechanism in place to protect consumers from something like this. Our economic system is based on a modicum of trust, and it doesn't amount to a whole lot when that trust is betrayed...
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NightShadow



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 2674
Location: Sennadar

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:10 am    Post subject: Re: AOL Reply with quote

:shocked:

So, anyone think now would be a good time to buy AOL stock? Very Happy
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