Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Google and myspace sign search, ad deal worth at least $900 million

Google Inc. reached a deal Monday with News Corp., the owner of MySpace.com to pay at least $900 million (euro700.39 million) in shared advertising revenue and become the exclusive search provider for the popular online hangout.

Google, News Corp. sign search, ad deal worth at least $900 million - Breaking - Technology - theage.com.au

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Monday, August 7, 2006

AOL releases massive private customer data!!

In what I think is a disaster PR move, AOL just released a downloadable dataset that includes about 20 million search queries from 650,000 AOL users in the past 3 months.

The dataset includes all searches from those users as well as whether they clicked on a result, what that result was and where it appeared on the AOL search result page.

What AOL has just done is it has given public access to very private data about its users without asking their permission. Although the AOL username has been changed to an ID number, the abilitiy to analyze all searches done by one user will most often easily point to who the user is, and what he is doing on the Internet.

The dataset includes anything someone might type in the AOL search field: names, addresses, social security numbers, drugs, specific pornographic interests... you name it!

On-line marketers are probably drooling over what they can learn from this very sensitive aggregation of personal user data and how they can exploit that and turn it into "targeted" commercial sollicitations...

According to Techcrunch: "The most serious problem is the fact that many people often search on their own name, or those of their friends and family, to see what information is available about them on the net. Combine these ego searches with porn queries and you have a serious embarrassment. Combine them with “buy ecstasy” and you have evidence of a crime. Combine it with an address, social security number, etc., and you have an identity theft waiting to happen. The possibilities are endless."

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » AOL Proudly Releases Massive Amounts of Private Data

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