Sunday, August 20, 2006

World Privacy Forum files FTC complaint against AOL

First of all, apologies for the extremely light writing as of late. I was at the Canadian Bar Association's annual get-together in St. John's, Newfoundland last week, followed by a week of vacation in Toronto with one of my sons. Things will be back to normal in about a week. Unless there's a huge pile of work to catch up on, which may be the case.

Back to the business of this blog ....

The World Privacy Forum has filed a complaint (PDF) with the US Federal Trade Commission over AOL's disclosure of slightly de-identified search data to researchers:

World Privacy Forum Files FTC Complaint About AOL Data Releases

The World Privacy Forum filed a complaint today with the Federal Trade Commission regarding AOL's multiple releases of portions of its users' search query histories. The complaint discusses AOL search query releases from 2004 and 2006. The complaint alleges that the data release was intentional, and due to significant identifiability issues of the data subjects, that the releases are harming some AOL customers, and that AOL customers did not know their search histories would be made available to the public. The World Privacy Forum urges consumers to take precautions when using search engines. For more see the complaint (PDF). Also see the World Privacy Forum Search Engine Privacy Tips.

Via ComputerWorld: Privacy watchdog says AOL violated its own policy.

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