AOL released a list of 20 million search queries yesterday that was made up from 500,000 users. You didn’t need special permission to download the file but you had to be willing to wait for the 439MB to finish downloading. In the end it didn’t take long for them to remove it from their servers but by that time it was already a little too late. TechCrunch has already reported
about a mirror
that is still up where you can download the file. If that ever goes down then the P2P networks will always be available since the torrent is already wandering around the Web. The Paradigm Shift
noticed one user in particular, with the ID number 17556639, that was constantly doing searches like “how to kill your wife.” That user appeared to be looking for anything they could find like decapitation and car crash photos. If that is just one user, it makes you wonder what you’ll find going through the other 499,999 that are in the list! The biggest
reason why this was stupid, in my opinion, is that no one will trust them anymore. They just released information regarding a free 5GB file storage account
that users will be able to sign up for in September but who would do that when your data could possibly be given to the public. I’ll be holding out for Google who has proven that they fight for my privacy.