Two AOL employees were fired and its chief technology officer has left the company following a privacy breach in which the Internet search terms of more than 650,000 subscribers were publicly released, according to an Associated Press story Monday afternoon. Maureen Govern, the technology chief, will be replaced on an interim basis by John McKinley, who had held that position before becoming AOL's president for digital services.
The researcher who released the data and that employee's direct supervisor were fired. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because release of personnel information was not authorized, would not say whether Govern's departure was voluntary. Although AOL had substituted numeric IDs for the subscribers' real user names, the company acknowledged the search queries themselves may contain personally identifiable data, the AP story said.