With all fuss a few months ago about releasing search results to the US Federal Government and privacy, AOL have managed to go one step further and release three months of search data onto the net. It turns out that the information being held contravenes both US legislation as well as the their own privacy policy.

The EFF have suggested that some organisations are treating such personal information with very casual regard. Although it may seem fairly minor, as the EFF have pointed out the impact could be personally very harmful – for example if you’ve been using your AOL account to research a serious illness that you’ve been diagnosed with and its information that you don’t want people to know about.

I have doubts about how hard AOL will be treated by federal organisations on this breach, so it may fall to a well presented class action from AOL users  (or former users) to make it clear that personal data should be treated with the utmost respect and security.

Having looked at the AOL site to see what they say about the situation – AOL UK at least make no reference to what has happened in their news pages – but still carry news about Id theft in the UK.