March 13, 2005

AIM Terms of Service Change Takes Away Right to Privacy?

Posted at March 13, 2005 1:36 PM

Of course the word "private" was never applicable to AIM.. but the idea that AOL might take our conversations and publish them somewhere for profit.. yikes:

AOL has some new "Terms of Service" for those who use their AOL Instant Messaging servers, and it's pretty crazy:
Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

I'm keenly aware that by communicating with friends and colleagues via AIM, it's easy for someone to eavesdrop on our conversation. I know that anyone on the network can see what I'm passing back and forth, and thus try to not to have too many highly sensitive conversations via AIM. Nefarious observers of packets have always concerned me, but I never thought to be concerned that the company providing the service would share that information.



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