How Much Data Is Too Much Data?


Add the Electronic Frontier Foundation and, perhaps, the Federal Trade Commission to the list of folks who are seriously irked with AOL for leaking the search records of over a half-million of its customers.


The EFF, one of the leading Internet watchdog agencies, has filed a complaint with the FTC that claims AOL violated federal law when it posted a massive search log that included personal identifiable information. As we noted last week, AOL says it's really embarrassed by the whole screw-up.


The EFF has some specific suggestions for remedies by AOL, including picking up the tab for credit monitoring services and expediting cancellations by customers who are just creeped out by the whole affair.


What's more, the EFF contends that AOL has no business keeping anybody's search logs for longer than a couple of weeks in the first place. That's in stark contrast with DOJ requests for search logs and long-term customer data retention by ISPs and other Internet firms.


The debate on how much data companies can and should keep about their customers will certainly rage on long after AOL stops getting slapped around for its latest, obvious blunder.

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