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6 Facts About AIM's Privacy Policy

Think Your Data is Private on AIM? Learn More About AIM's Terms of Service

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6 Facts About AIM's Privacy Policy

Do you know AIM's privacy policy? Read up and learn more about how AIM's privacy policy affects your use of this IM client.

Used with permission. © 2009 AOL LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Have you read the AIM Terms of Service lately? Would you know AIM privacy policies if asked?

Chances are when you installed your latest AIM download, you probably didn't take a moment to read the terms of service. You aren't alone, however.

Few rarely take the time to read the AIM Terms of Service, but within them lie the answers to many questions about AIM privacy policies, such as what personal information AIM might use for their purposes.

Fortunately, this guide will help you learn more about AIM privacy policies and help you make informed choices about using the AIM IM client and other AOL products.

Can AIM Read My IMs, Chat Room Messages?

According to the AIM Privacy Policy, AOL cannot monitor or read your private IM communications. However, any information which is posted in a "public area," be it AIM Chat Rooms, message boards and AIM profiles are not subject to privacy.

In short, AOL can use content as described when posted in a public area, as you grant the company permission when you use these services.

Where Can This Public Content Be Used?

The AIM Privacy Policy and Terms of Service state "you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium," meaning it could be used for (and not limited to) print, online or broadcast advertising and more.

How Secure is AIM?

While AOL takes great efforts to prevent unauthorized access to or misuse of your information (i.e. hackers, etc.), the company states it cannot guarantee that your "personally identifiable information will never be disclosed in a manner inconsistent with this Privacy Policy."

How Does AIM Impact My Privacy?

From the AIM privacy policy: "AIM may use cookies, web beacons, or similar technologies to enhance and personalize your experience on AIM or AOL, including to operate and improve offerings through AIM; to help authenticate your identity when you visit and transact with AIM or AOL; to remember your preferences and registration information; enable a shopping cart; to present and help measure and research the effectiveness of AIM offerings, advertisements, and e-mail communications (by determining which AIM e-mails you open and act upon); and to customize the content and advertisements provide to you by AIM or AOL."

"AIM and its advertisers may also use ad network providers and other service providers, including AOL subsidiaries such as Advertising.com and TACODA, to help present customized content and advertisements on AIM and other Web sites."

What Ages Are Permitted to Use AIM?

While intended for a general audience, children under the age of 13 cannot register for an AIM account.

What if I Do Not Agree with AIM Privacy Policy?

Unfortunately, your only recourse is to uninstall AIM and not use the AOL and companion web sites.

Who Can I Contact About AIM Privacy Policy?

Want to share your comments with AOL about their privacy policy? Send an email to AIMPrvcyPolicy@aol.com or write via snail mail to:

22000 AOL Way
Dulles, VA 20166

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