I Just Called To Say I'm Sorry (For Exposing Your Personal Search Data)

from the I-just-called-to-say-that-I-still-care dept

Earlier this week, AOL exhibited a stunning lapse of judgment when it released search data from 500,000 of its subscribers. While the company thought the data had been sufficiently anonymized, the New York Times had no problem tracking down and interviewing one of the AOL searchers. There's no way AOL can close the Pandora's Box of data at this point, but after the Times story ran, AOL's CEO Jon Miller did feel compelled to call the woman and apologize. But why stop there? AOL didn't need the Times to identify which searchers had their privacy breached. It knows which user number corresponds to which user. Admittedly, it might be too much to ask of Jon Miller to call each one of them personally, but the company just announced it's laying off 5,000 employees within six months. Certainly, that's plenty of time for each one to call about 100 people and say sorry.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    cepx@mail.com, 10 Oct 2006 @ 6:02am

    yeimkvn trlybhn

    iqpthanyg meny fndkj oyktbavf hties furlk kwtc

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.