A boon for search engine researches quickly tumbled into a privacy snafu as AOL released search query results for 650,000+ users. AOL expression contrition and dismay in the quotes provided by spokesman Andrew Weinstein who said:
- “This was a screw up, and we’re angry and upset about it. It was an innocent enough attempt to reach out to the academic community with new research tools, but it was obviously not appropriately vetted, and if it had been, it would have been stopped in an instant.”
Guess what? If personal data is collected, some day it may be improperly divulged and used by hacky writers to make endless blogfood from “strange things are being done in the same households as searches for mundane crap.”
The question now is what will be done with the data already released? We shall wait, and breathlessly watch Digg.