Looks like if you work for AOL, you’d better be prepared to be the sacrifical lamb if your division messes up big time. AOL’s chief technology officer, Maureen Govern, whose division accidentally recently released search data for more than 500,000 AOL users, resigned today. A technology guy and a supervisor also exited. Little consolation to those whose search data was released, but still a pretty stiff price for Ms. Govern to pay for someone’s error that was quickly identified and dealt with as best AOL could. Too bad the data wound up being mirrored across a bunch of different sites before AOL was able to remove it.
Apart from privacy issues the leak prompted, AOL has a lot to make up for in the “trust” department than this if they want to someday play with the big boys in the paid search market. Almost since its inception, AOL has been the kicking post for almost anything negative any one can say about the way information is used across the internet – either personally or commercially. In some way, it seems AOL has been involved in some way in every negative aspect or someone has found a way to bring AOL into it, rightly or wrongly. I kind of feel sorry to Ms. Govern right now. It’s her turn to be the goat.