AOL has acknowledged that their updated Terms of Service for their AIM service is confusing and in places poorly worded. As Aunty reported earlier this week, the AIM TOS included such choice phrases as “You waive any right to privacy.”
“That’s a phrase that should not have been in that section in the first place. It clearly caused confusion, with good reason,” acknowledged AOL spokesman Andrew Weinstein today.
Still, Weinstein also stated that AOL is not making any policy changes, and that the forthcoming changes to the AIM Terms of Service will be in the nature of “linguistic changes to clarify certain things and explain it a little better to our users”, and to make clear that “AOL does not read private user-to-user communications.”
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That, for Aunty’s money, is no real reassurance. It’s still unclear what exactly the AIM user’s rights will be, particularly as compared to AOL, when it comes to content which a user posts “on an AIM product”, to quote from the Terms of Service. For that matter, what does “to post” even mean, in the context of the TOS?
One of AIM’s chief architects, Justin Uberti, wrote on his own blog today that “First off, that blurb in the TOS only refers to AIM forum posts, not IMs. I agree that it is vague and should be reworded to be clear.”
Amen to that, brother Uberti.
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