Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Do the numbers make a difference?

If this would have happened prior to the proliferation of the Internet and there was no intent, would the offense of posting information of similar nature somewhere have resulted in the same action, or is it simply the vast audience reached by the Internet that brings about such actions today? And would it have been as newsworthy if it weren't for the Internet as well?

From InformationWeek

AOL last week fired a researcher and a supervisor following an investigation into the release of information about AOL customers' search habits. CTO Maureen Govern resigned, though the company declined to say if that was connected to the foul-up. John McKinley, who previously held the job, is interim CTO.

Earlier this month, AOL released on the Web about 20 million keyword searches from 658,000 users, hoping to to help academic researchers; though anonymous, some users could be identified by search terms. Data mishandling has become this year's fast track to unemployment for IT execs at businesses and government agencies.

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