Is it about privacy or transparency? Or just colossal failure of judgement? On Monday, AOL admitted making a 2-GB file with the search records of 658,000 people available for public download — exactly the sort of information the DOJ sought, and failed, to force Google to provide under the guise of protecting children. Recall that AOL, MSN and Yahoo all buckled to the pressure and released the information.
The AOL data represented 1.5% of the search users in May, who were identified by number and not username, but whose vanity searches and map directions give them away. Reportedly, law enforcement officials are scouring the data for potential malfeasance. The Blogosphere was aflame last night.
Read the Information Week article and the New York Times article and be glad you use Google and not AOL for searches.