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AOL Employees Fired Over Data Leak  (View post)

Brian Mingus [PersonRank 10]

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
12 years ago3,588 views

(Pardon my french)

In the Navy we said "Shit rolls downhill." =)

John Krystynak [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

If a major search engine decides not to keep logs, the US (or some other) government could either create laws requiring the logs be kept or apply laws they already have in other areas of business.

For example, in the US, Sarbanes-Oxley created documentation regulations that prevent a public company from deleting internal records for various periods of time.

Inferno [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Firing them was really harsh if it was a mistake.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Well, a classic killing the messenger reaction. We need globally applicable strandards, similar to the w3c standards that companies have to abide to if it comes to privacy. The current laws and self styled privacy (data mining) policies are just a sharade for a data gold rush.

Google, in Germany colloquially called "the data octopus" will bring us in more such situations even if it opposes subpoenas. Data collection should be strictly overseen and limited by the general public.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Btw. it seems there already is a body that seeks to make data collection more democratic: attentiontrust.org

Milly [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

> Some people [...] now argue AOL should move forward and not even
> keep their search logs. But if that’s the only approach to
> maintaining privacy, we might as well forgot about moving
> applications online (think of services like Gmail, Gdrive, Google
> Calendar etc.).

Though there's a distinct difference between users' data retained on their behalf (kept for as long as they give specific consent), and data about users, kept forever without their informed consent (beyond some nebulous, largely unseen, privacy statement).

Surely we can throw away the dirty bathwater, without losing the baby.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

True. But I bet Google and others would try to convince us features like personalized search, or search history, are oh so valuable... so that we want them to keep that data :)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

AOL says they'll improve the privacy:
nytimes.com/2006/08/22/technol ...

/quote

In his memo, Mr. Miller outlined several initiatives at the company, including the exploration of technologies that could be used to make more anonymous the query data used for research purposes. For example, it might use software to scan the query logs looking for strings of numbers that could represent Social Security or credit card numbers, so they could be removed.

Mr. Miller also said AOL would put in place new restrictions on access to customer data within the company, and was creating a task force charged with examining “how long we should save data, including search data.”

Milly [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Philipp, I'm sure you're absolutely right. But if provided with sufficient information to give real consent, and legal protections to help forestall abuses, neither of which exist yet, I think people should be free to get into bed with whomsoever they like, for as long as they like.

And boy, do many people seem eager to hand over their lives to Google ...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

<< But I bet Google and others would try to convince us features like personalized search, or search history, are oh so valuable... so that we want them to keep that data :) >>

And they're quite obvious about that in places! You only have to look at Gmail's empty trash message:

<< No conversations in the Trash. Who needs to delete when you have over 2000 MB of storage?! >>

(And I bet they keep your emails even when you delete them anyway...)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Maybe I'm just paranoic, but doesn't Google store the information in the search history even if you disable that feature? They store all the queries, they know your username, so isn't this implicit? I always thought search history is just to show you a part of what they'd know anyway.

Another thing: why is personalized search tied with search history? Maybe I want just search history. I didn't find their personalized search very good anyway.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Ionut absolutely, I bet they store everything. Search History is just a feature to expose this to the user. With that data they can do all sorts of smart computations to mine it for intelligence – like spelling suggestions, clustering, and probably a lot more.

And I hate Personalized Search. Just now it cluttered my results with unrelated "previous searches" as onebox result. Those previous searches were completely irrelevant. I also don't care if I visited the site on a previous date, I don't know why they output this info...

This thread is locked as it's old... but you can create a new thread in the forum. 

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