Sunday, March 20, 2005

AIM and Your Security

Found this link at iwasthinking.
Snopes, I think, is being very naive. The article leads you to believe that because Weinstein states that they won't use info from IMs, that they can't or won't. Read the TOS. It's quite evident that they are reserving that right.

Since the TOS clause that was quoted is specific to any AIM product, I don't agree that it is limited by the other clause that they quote on user to user content.

Weinstein told the clause in question falls under the heading "Content You Post," meaning it only relates to content a user posts in a public area of the AIM service. "If a user posts content in a public area of the service, like a chat room, message board or other public forum, that information may be used by AOL for other purposes," he explained. [Emphasis Mine]

So, is this a legal contract to the users in variance with the written contract? I'm betting not. Not being a lawyer (thank god) I can't say that with absolute faith, but having a healthy distrust in legaleez I wouldn't take the risk.

I also have read the Privacy Policy. It looks like they don't access private content, but, does this trump the TOS contract? Since I don't see clear cut interrelations between the documents, I don't think it's simple.

My conclusion. AIM is useful only for the most mundane uses, and if you need security, don't use it.

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