The First (But Not Last!) AOL Search Records Lawsuit

Hear that? That’s the first rumbling of an avalanche: three AOL subscribers have named AOL as the defendants in a class-action lawsuit for spilling the search results of 650,000 subscribers.

Needless to say, the lawsuit is about the colossal act of incompetence that breached the privacy of practically everyone who’d ever used AOL and led to hilarious YTMDs like this one

The attorney who filed the suit says that AOL should at least be trying to shut down the mirror sites of the search database and be forbidden from collecting data like this in the future. Given that AOL obviously can’t be trusted with it, that seems pretty reasonable.

AOL Subscribers Sue Over Release of Search Data []


Edit Your Comment

  1. Brian Gee says:

    That “YTMD” (i forget what that means, but whatever) you link to is probably one of these three filing the suit. Have these three told their AOL ID numbers?

    Do you think, if push comes to shove, AOL could threaten to expose their numbers as a negotiation tactic?

  2. AcilletaM says:

    I don’t think AOL would have to threaten that, I think they would have to prove they are part of the class and therefore expose themselves.

  3. GenXCub says:

    ytmnd = You’re The Man Now, Dog. While I don’t think they’re filing suit, I think they’re a catalyst, or in contact with those who are. (not ytmnd site, but the author of that particular page)

    It’s just too good an opportunity for more material. Can you imagine creating more of these (you know there’s gotta be better material that can be gleaned from this source) and using them in court to a jury? Especially if they cite examples of how you can determine the identity of a user based on search records.