AOL Data: First Searcher Identified

Techcrunch has information on the first person positively identified from the AOL data. AOL searcher number 4417749 has been identified as Thelma Arnold, a 62 year old widow living in Lilburn, Georgia.

As you might expect, the searches made by her are pretty innocent. Her search queries range from “numb fingers” to “60 single men” to “dog that urinates on everything.” The New York Times has a pretty in-depth article about Thelma and other, yet unidentified searchers.

Ms. Arnold, who agreed to discuss her searches with a reporter, said she was shocked to hear that AOL had saved and published three months’ worth of them. “My goodness, it’s my whole personal life,” she said. “I had no idea somebody was looking over my shoulder.”

In the privacy of her four-bedroom home, Ms. Arnold searched for the answers to scores of life’s questions, big and small. How could she buy “school supplies for Iraq children”? What is the “safest place to live”? What is “the best season to visit Italy”?

Wonder when we can expect the first lawsuits to be filed? Personally, I expected some yesterday. AOL had a shitty reputation before, I’d be surprised if this doesn’t end up sinking them at some point.