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AOL CTO, Two Researchers Dismissed

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Slimy    13
An internal company memorandum indicates that AOL's chief technology officer Maureen Govern has resigned after only one year with the company. Govern oversaw the division that released the search data on over a half million AOL subscribers, which created a firestorm for the company earlier this month. AOL's former CTO John McKinley would reassume his position while the company searches for a replacement.

Govern's departure is not the only one related to the data release. Sources told Reuters that at least two researchers have also left as a result: the researcher who oversaw the release and his manager. The Wall Street Journal termed all three departures as "firings," indicating that the dismissals may have come as a result of the negative publicity AOL has faced since the snafu. AOL has declined to comment on the situation.

Source

NEW YORK (Reuters)?AOL's chief technology officer Maureen Govern, who oversaw the division responsible for accidentally releasing search data for more than a half a millions users, has resigned from the company, according to an internal company memorandum.

AOL declined comment.

The online division of Time Warner Inc. drew the ire of privacy advocates, who called for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to review the company's customer data retention practices after the data was released earlier this month.

AOL also said it plans to create a task force to review its current customer information privacy policy.

John McKinley, AOL's former CTO, will take over on an interim basis. Two other employees in the company's research department has also left the company, a source familiar with the matter said.

Source

AOL said it was "angry" about the privacy breach

One of AOL's top executives has left the internet firm soon after a privacy breach in which the search queries of 650,000 subscribers were released. AOL apologised for accidentally giving details of 20 million search queries by US customers earlier this month, admitting the breach was a "screw-up". Although the queries were anonymous, there were fears the search details may contain personally identifiable data. Chief technology officer (CTO) Maureen Govern has now left the company.

According to Reuters - which cited a company memo announcing the changes - she has been replaced by former CTO John McKinley. AOL has not commented on the issue. Ms Govern oversaw the division responsible for inadvertently releasing the search data, published on its research site. AOL, owned by media giant Time Warner, removed the offending file but not before copies had begun to circulate on the internet. At the time, AOL said it was "angry" and "upset" about the breach. The error prompted several complaints to the Federal Trade Commission by privacy advocacy groups calling for an investigation. According to Reuters and Associated Press, AOL is setting up a task force to examine its data collection and retention policies. "We have to earn their trust each and every day and with each and every action we take," Reuters cited a memo from chief executive Jonathan Miller as saying.

Source

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- AOL chief technology officer Maureen Govern, who oversaw the division responsible for accidentally releasing search data for more than a half a million Internet users, has resigned from the company, according to an internal company memorandum.

John McKinley, AOL's former CTO, will take over on an interim basis, according to the memo obtained by Reuters on Monday. Govern joined the company last September.

AOL declined comment.

AOL apologized on Aug. 7 for releasing information onto the Web about 20 million keyword searches from about 658,000 anonymous users over a three-month period. Disclosing the data was against company policy, AOL said at the time.

The release of data by the online division of media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. (Charts) drew the ire of privacy advocates, who called for the Federal Trade Commission to review the company's customer data retention practices.

Collecting and sharing Internet user data for any purpose is under close scrutiny by privacy watchdogs. Internet search leader Google Inc. won plaudits for refusing to comply with U.S. government demands to hand over search data.

A researcher in AOL's technology research department and the employee's supervisor have also left the company in the wake of the disclosure, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

In response to a torrent of criticism across the Internet, AOL also said it plans to create a task force to review its customer information privacy policy.

"We have to earn their trust each and every day and with each and every action we take," AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller wrote in a separate memo obtained by Reuters.

The task force, headed by AOL Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis and AOL General Counsel Randy Boe, plans to review the company's data collection and retention policies, according to the memo.

AOL currently stores search data that can identify users for 30 days. Anonymous search data, the kind divulged by AOL in early August, is stored indefinitely, the source said.

Privacy advocates such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a complaint with the FTC last week requesting an investigation into AOL's privacy practices, arguing that the Internet provider did not need to store such search data.

AOL's task force will also review other measures to protect users, including ways to prevent the storage of any sensitive data in the research database that include 16 digits, like those of many credit cards, the source said.

Source

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Schentler    0

wow ... i should read the news more often

i am scared now

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