On August 6th 2006, American Online (AOL) took it upon themselves to release to the public domain an archive of their customers search habits over a period of 3 months.
Contained in this list were social security numbers, credit cards and other personal information. The list also revealed some frightening findings.
User 17556639 is constantly trying to find ways to murder his wife. This is as bad as the guy who murdered that Oklahoma girl and blogged about his plans to eat her. Sad really sad.
The fact that this data has been made to the public could result in not only embarrassment, but identity theft just waiting to happen.
Michael Arrington, from TechCrunch.Com says “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.”
AOL might have removed the page now, but it’s a little too late. The damage has already been done. The information has already been downloaded by many, and it is mirrored on a bunch of websites.
Right now AOL customers are fuming mad and I bet that AOL is up to their elbows in cancellations and complaints from angry customers. Boycott AOL is the words being said around the Blogosphere.
AOL messes up once again!
Maxine Gauthier even offered to send a copy of her father’s obituary as proof he truly was dead. An AOL service guy told her to stop complaining and learn to use a computer. Then he hung up on her.If you liked this post, why not buy me a coffee?