Maureen Govern, AOL CTO and head of the AOL department responsible
for releasing user search data, and the researcher and manager
were fired, according to a memo from AOL CEO Jonathan Miller obtained
In a memo to employees, Miller said “Maureen Govern, our Chief
Technology Officer, has decided to leave AOL effective immediately.”
John McKinley will be returning as CTO.
Along with Govern, two other AOL employees were fired, according to
those aware of the investigation.
“We are taking appropriate action with the employees who were
responsible,” Miller wrote in the memo.
An AOL spokesperson was not immediately available.
The firings may be the result of an investigation AOL announced last
AOL spokesperson Andrew Weinstein told internetnews.com
last week the company was looking into how a file meant for
researchers spread across the Internet.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation had asked the Federal Trade
Commission to investigate AOL’s disclosure of search data on 650,000
The privacy advocacy group requested AOL inform users and halt
the practice of storing search data.