Exactly comment (sorry, dead link) that MSN/WLM keeps full chat logs forever and analyses them at times. Oddly though I found deleting a MSN/WLM/Live account pretty easy. - ICQ – being the first non-UNIX IM protocol I expected from ICQ a lot less dirt that I found. For starters, by accepting its EULA/ToS you agree to give ICQ all the copyright and some other rights over the information posted to ICQ, which implies that ICQ may publish, distribute etc. any messages sent through the system that could to be private. Stretching it a bit, ICQ may even use your brilliant idea you had in a private chat with your coworker. Relevant excerpt from their EULA/ToS:

You agree that by posting any material or information anywhere on the ICQ Services and Information you surrender your copyright and any other proprietary right in the posted material or information. You further agree that ICQ Inc. is entitled to use at its own discretion any of the posted material or information in any manner it deems fit, including, but not limited to, publishing the material or distributing it.

Also there is no way to delete your ICQ account. There's even two FAQ entries to tell you that – for ICQ 7 and for ICQ 6.5. - AIM – as I already wrote, AIM complicates deleting your account in some cases (e.g. mine) to such extent that in practice you cannot delete it. - YIM – I still use my Yahoo as a spam mail account and there is an option to turn off YIM. It is nice to know that you can delete your account on Yahoo! If you're interested there's also a leaked Yahoo! Complience Guide for Law Enforcement that clearly states which private data Yahoo stores for about its users, for how long, who may get access and how much access costs.

In any case, do not count on just deleting your account to delete all your already collected private data, chat logs, etc.

To be fair, even if you use XMPP you have to keep an eye on which provider you chose. E.g. Also in Google the chat logs (GTalk is just a XMPP server) were read and misused by one of its employees.

So repeat after me: Reading the EULA, ToS and PP before signing is a smart thing to do. (Actually in general it's a smart thing to read what you sign!)

To conclude, I'd suggest either joining a trusted XMPP server or better yet run your own server. Personally I'm very happy with Gabbler since they promise not to log any data about you and would recommend them (sadly they don't accept new accounts at the moment). There are quite a few XMPP servers though that provide a smilarly sane privacy policy out there.

hook out → listening to music on my new AKG K330 headphones :3

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