Many are saying AOL’s latest IM client logs communications by default, and scans private IMs and URLs contained in the IMs which then are pre-fetched. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) had a meeting with AOL to discuss their concerns. AOL says that changes will be made to the software.
The EFF message to AIM users:
“We still recommend that AIM users do not switch to the new version as it introduces important privacy-unfriendly features”
“Unfortunately AOL’s moves are in keeping with a general trend toward more pervasive cloud-based services in which your personal chat data is centrally stored in plain text and an easy target for law enforcement and criminals. This shift toward central logging is troubling in many situations, including in chat.”
In a statement, AOL said its privacy policies followed or exceeded industry best practice:
AOL has a long standing commitment to protecting the integrity of our users’ security and privacy. In addition to following industry best practices for protecting our users’ information, we continue to invest in state-of-the-art security solutions across our network.
We greatly appreciate the work the EFF is doing throughout industry to promote privacy concerns. We also appreciated the opportunity to connect with EFF directly to address some of the concerns they have raised. However as they note in their post, the new features in our AIM preview follow industry standards and, we believe, provide users with an improved overall experience.
EFF Suggests IM-Encryption more info here: https://ssd.eff.org/tech/im#im-encryption