AOL Just Wanted to Help Out The Elbow-Patch Jacket Set

The AOL user search queries data leaked on the internet were apparently posted by a technician who uploaded the data without vetting it through in-house privacy department, company spokesman Andrew Weinstein told WP.

AOL’s intent was to provide open source tools to academics researching the science of how people search for information.

In reporting the story, NYT gave the kill quote to Greg Linden, CEO of Findory, a news search company,

The uproar, he said, would hurt university researchers trying to explore new types of searches who did not have access to data about users. “This is going to slow progress of those who want to find ways to help people find what they are looking for faster,” he said.

Bad bloggers, pointing out privacy breaches! Although it’s beyond us why anyone would find the searches useful.

Did you see what these people typed in? Any librarian would self-combust at how poorly formulated the queries were. Didn’t anyone teach these people about Boolean operators?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.