After initially scaring AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users with the a poorly-worded change in the Terms of Service statement, AOL has announced it will change the wording again. AOL's statement currently reads:
"'Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content.Yow! It didn't make people feel better that
'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.'"
"America Online spokesman Andrew Weinstein, however, maintained that AOL does not monitor, read or review any user-to-user communication through the AIM network, except in response to a valid legal process."The revamped terms of service applies only to users who downloaded the free AIM software on or after Feb. 5, 2004. AOL spokesperson Andrew Weinstein said a blunt and inelegant line that reads "You waive any right to privacy" will be deleted altogether.
In the final analysis, AOL is trying to say that they are updating the language of the Terms of Service to reflect what AOL actually does presently; AOL is not changing how they deal with private information.