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AfriGeneas Genealogy Technology Forum

Security @ AOL

"Word spread last week that researchers at AOL had released three months' worth of search logs that contained nearly 20 million search histories detailing the online lives of 658,000 customers. The data included information on subscribers who used AOL's browser, but not those who had used AOL's portal.

"AOL user IDs were replaced with pseudonymous numbers and the data was organized by a user's search history. The data set included the time and date of a search, the search terms and the result, if any, clicked on.

"AOL has apologized and taken down the data, but it is now widely available on the internet and some have set up search engines that query the records.

"For those worried about what companies or federal investigators might do with such records in the future, here's a primer on how search logs work and how to avoid being writ large within them."


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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