August 23, 2006

AOL sacks staff of data leak

by Brian Turner

Computers & Internet

AOL has sacked its chief technology officer and two other employees responsible for publishing user data online.

CTO Maureen Govern, whose department oversaw the data release, will leave the company immediately. The researcher and the manager overseeing the research have also apparently been dismissed.

While AOL claimed that no personally identifiable information was made available, researchers have found no problems with tracking down some of the individuals through the types of searches made by them.

While it raises the issue of privacy protection with regards to just how much personally identifiable information is being held by ISPs, at present consumers seek eager to live in ignorance on the matter.

After all, if any national government held all of this user behaviour data there would be an outcry over privacy – but the fact that billion-dollar international corporations hold it seems to suggest that while people use the data-collection products directly, then the trade-off is acceptable.

We await to see when internet users finally wake up to privacy issues.

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One Response to “AOL sacks staff of data leak”

  1. Platinax Small Business News » AOL sued for search privacy violations on September 27th, 2006 1:16 pm

    [...] Although AOL has sacked staff behind the data release and also apologised, the scale of the data release may yet see more lawsuits proceeding from it. [...]

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