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AOL Search Log Profiles  (View post)

Reto Meier [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, August 8, 2006
13 years ago12,238 views

I did some searching myself, and it's disturbingly easy, not just to get a profile but to associate a name and location. Here's a profile I found earlier today:

blogoscoped.com/forum/60706.ht ...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Thanks Reto, I added this bit to the items.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Excellent post Philipp, excellent! :-)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

What’s Google grass ?? that's an interesting query!!

I have not had time to play with this.. but the intentions and patterns emerging is crazy.. like one analyst emailed me and said that a specific USer id was certainly seemed to be a kinda "kinky"!!- and like Reto said, the Phishing hot kinda made a couple of them leave a trail ..

I bet the Electronic Forensics Team peeps are having fun...!!!

Mathias Schindler [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

"1133 is looking for “Google grass”. (What’s Google grass?)"

Whatever it is, AOL must have smoked it.

Seth Finkelstein [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

"User 22817 seems to look up every word in a dictionary. ..."

Philipp, are you sure that's not you? :-) That's the sort of thing you do to make the posts like "What does Google say xyz means?"

Sunil Nair [PersonRank 9]

13 years ago #

LOL!!! :-)

Ludwik Trammer [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

What's Google grass? I guess somebody just wanted to search "grass" in Google...

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

search history for user 17556639

17556639 how to kill your wife
17556639 how to kill your wife

plentyoffish.wordpress.com/200 ...

teodora [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

someone should sue them

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Oh I got an update, its seems that "Google grass" --seems that they were in fact seeking mpp.org

Sohil [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

That's why children never use AOL. Use Google (it's the same search technology)

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

User: 3716264
dear god please help me

User: 9486162
suicide by gas
how to over dose to kill yourself
suicide by overdosing
how to commit suicide
ways to kill yourself

User: 1422164
punk clothing
suicide machines

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

You can get useful info out of it though:

Microsoft : 7272
Google : 113813
Yahoo : 117870
AOL : 0 (think it's too short)
America Online : 40317

Results via aolsearchdatabase.com

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

should not 911 be calling "User: 9486162" and trying to find out-- if that person is sick or not ??

Does not the government have a responsiblity to do that too ??

Splasho [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Personally I think that telling us the ID of someone whose full name is revealed is innapropriate.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

[put at-character here] Splasho
Even without the full name you can still get a lot of information about a person.
Example:

User : 15604647
Looking for a military pen pal program
Looking for his/her Parents
Interested in Final Fantasy xi
Looking for a college/university

Splasho [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I'm perfectly aware of that, my point is that you are assisting invasion of privacy by making it easy to find the terms searched for by someone with a particularly name. Otherwise people would have to trawl through the data and might not find it.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Splasho, lets back up a bit.. who is " assisting invasion of privacy by making it easy to find the terms searched for by someone with a particularly name."

There is a split dichotmy of thoughts here..

1) Did AOL assist others in invasion of privacy ?
2) Or are the users who have taken the data and made it public assisting in the invasion of privacy ??

Technically AOL breached data policies. If they had anon id was totally stripped from the raw data dump. This would have prevented a lot. However, the flaw existed and is propagating thru the network... but then again this is where (2) gets triggered- of what good is it to data mine /reverse engg to finger a user -other then learning what he was searching for..

Without the UserID, the Data still has value props in terms of research and is a gold mine for PR and market research folks.. thats is where the true value is happening.. what we are all listening to is the "echo chamber" bloating outwards and directed towards users privacy only.. and not towards a rational thesis on trends of search, freqencys etc etc..

Splasho [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Of course AOL are to blame, I'd never deny that.
But just because AOL betrayed their users that doesn't make it right to invade their privacy further by telling everyone about the interesting people we find in the data.

I agree there are a lot of acceptable uses for the data, but I don't think it's necessary to give lots of examples of people whose identities have been exposed.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

==>>" I don't think it's necessary to give lots of examples of people whose identities have been exposed."

Totally Agree on that.. Personal info mining is a responsible task and those that publish user identities of the AOL data set , would certainly need to be tasked!!

information and Knowledge comes hand in glove with responsibility and liabilities!!

SEO Portal [PersonRank 1]

13 years ago #

instead we could better focus on the SEO usefull information ..

I posted my first analysis on a sample of 7,7 milion clicks here:
seo-portal.com/aol-data-analys ...

Marcus [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

The question is: how easy is it to map these user IDs to names and email addresses?

/pd [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Marcus, there was a clean ID on a user .. A blogger has contacted the person thru AIM msg and is awaiting reply. In short, it was not hard to do..

Johnny [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

As far as the multpile 'A'-letter words, I'm thinking this user was studying for the SAT or some type low level standardized testing. Two hours at that ain't bad. Although, i guess it is if that's the ONLY searches in three months.

Jon [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Heres one 1994549 seems to be well rounded

"Interracial candy"
"Nigger cum"
"inside water park"
and
"www.teansforcash"

Fake Rake [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Here are some of my posts with stuff that I've found: fakerake.com/tag/AOL

   I'm having too much fun looking through these things.

emoglasses [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

Oh God yes, these are fun. I keep writing more about this at my blog (emoglasses.org/), but this might be my fave, from user 66:

(2006-05-03 10:56:22) falling in love what to do
(2006-05-03 11:00:14) tangeringe
(2006-05-03 11:37:32) killing me softly
(2006-05-03 11:43:31) buy cds
(2006-05-03 13:07:25) sex poems {9 times}
(2006-05-03 13:57:01) beer and sex {4 times}
(2006-05-03 14:57:13) drunk love poems
(2006-05-03 14:57:53) beer love sex
(2006-05-03 14:59:15) how to turn him on
(2006-05-03 15:04:02) what men really want {3 times}
(2006-05-03 15:17:24) what attracts men
(2006-05-03 15:18:48) sex secrets {3 times}
(2006-05-03 15:26:11) sex secrets how to make him cum twice
(2006-05-03 15:27:44) multiple orgasm for men
(2006-05-03 15:29:48) how to have orgasm {4 times}
(2006-05-03 17:21:17) perfect gift for hog hunter

Sounds like maybe an evening didn't turn out as planned (note the two-hour gap between the last two queries).

I love the areas of interest for user 2282 also: “nintendo nes”, “comcast on demand”, “mortal kombat shaolin monks” and... “ninja turtles adult nc-17 erotic fanfiction”. *shudder*

max [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

There's a website to analyze and duscuss particular AOL users: aol.zanoza.lv/

"My neighbour is killing cats": aol.zanoza.lv/user/723190
"ways to kill yourself": aol.zanoza.lv/user/9486162
"wife killer": aol.zanoza.lv/user/17556639

A Face Is Exposed for AOL Searcher No. 4417749: aol.zanoza.lv/user/4417749

Corsin Camichel [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Any theory how AOL replaced the username/screenname with an id? Are those IDs real or made up?

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

I don't think the IDs are anything to do with usernames/screennames because not every search user would have a username/screenname anyway. They're probably just linked to some unique ID that's been planted in the user's cookie. (I doubt that the ID in the dataset is actually what would appear in the cookie, though you never know.)

ten [PersonRank 0]

13 years ago #

found othe profiles at data.aolsearchlogs.com/user/pr ...

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