Sunday, March 13, 2005

No Privacy with AIM (AOL Instant Messenger)

I haven't used AIM in quite a while, and from the look of it I won't ever use it again. Well, unless I can find something that will encrypt the information.

From the Article:

The revamped terms of service, which apply only to users who downloaded the free AIM software on or after Feb. 5, 2004, gives AOL the right to "reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote" all content distributed across the chat network by users.

"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," according to the AIM terms-of-service.

Although the user will retain ownership of the content passed through the AIM network, the terms give AOL ownership of "all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this [user] content.

There is more in the article. They also discuss the AIM@Work service that is aimed at companies, but I can't see why any company would use it with this obviously wide open hole in the companies security. AIM was horribly insecure before, but now they have a contracted right to take and use content. Why anyone would use this service with this BS attached is beyond me.

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