Monday, March 14, 2005

AOL goes back to the drafting board on its AIM Privacy Policy

CNET News is reporting that AOL is planning to redraft its "inartfully drafted" privacy statement to clarify that they do not require users to waive their rights to privacy. Or, depending upon whom you believe, to back off from their original plan to have users waive their rights to privacy.

AOL clarifies IM privacy guarantee | CNET

"America Online said late Monday that it plans to revise its user agreement in response to concerns that instant messages sent through the company's service could be monitored.

The new policy for AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM, will stress that the company does not eavesdrop on customer's conversations except in unusual circumstances such as a court order, an AOL spokesman said..."

I bet there's a room full of lawyers busily redrafting the policy while I write this.

As a more than casual observer of privacy incidents and damage control, it will be interesting to see what the blogsphere will have to say about this. Many, I am sure, will be waiting for the final re-draft before cutting AOL any slack. My next prediction: The mainstream media will pick up on the original story for tomorrow's papers. To AOL's distress, I predict that many will not cover the proposed re-draft, resulting in more adverse publicity and greater damage control efforts.

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