I doubt that this news will directly affect any of my regular readers. However, when a company breaches the trust of its users on this scale, it needs to be disseminated as widely as possible.
AOL must have missed the uproar over the DOJ’s demand for “anonymized” search data last year that caused all sorts of pain for Microsoft and Google. That’s the only way to explain their release of data that includes 20 million web queries from 650,000 AOL users.
The data includes all searches from those users for a three month period this year, as well as whether they clicked on a result, what that result was and where it appeared on the result page.
If you searched for something on AOL this year, you might want to think about what keywords you used and which links you clicked on.