AOL recently released the search histories of more than 650,000 of its users. There were no identities revealed, but it was possible to track what an individual person (many individual people) was searching for on AOL Search.
The company has apologized for a researcher’s disclosure of the massive database, and has removed it from their web site. However, the database had already been mirrored and is available for continued examination.
Aside from the titillating glimpses, what does this mean? It’s going to happen again. What is privacy? What are our privacy rights? What is the difference between privacy in the U.S., The Netherlands, an aboriginal village in Southeast Asia, or most typical business endeavors?
There are some pretty important conversations going on, and teachers, as much as (if not more than) anyone else, should be engaged in these conversations. Blogging, wikis, and other new web applications seem ready-made for these conversations — but what do teachers talk about in your teacher’s lounge?
I know that a lot of teachers are engaged in book-reading clubs. Is there some way that we might expand this?
What do you think?