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.: The Chaotic World of Defining Spyware - 4th Apr 2005

"Earlier this week, when anti-spyware vendor eTrust PestPatrol temporarily removed detections for eight adware applications marketed by Claria, the move caused many a raised eyebrow among anti-spyware advocates.

PestPatrol said Friday it would relist all of the Claria Corp. applications on its threat database after a one-week Vendor Appeal Process, but the absence of a standard approach to defining the unwanted programs has plunged the industry into deep chaos and confusion
..."
[eWeek]




.: Alma Mater As Big Brother - 30th Mar 2005

"A proposal by the Education Department would force every college and university in America to report all their students' Social Security numbers and other information about each individual -- including credits earned, degree plan, race and ethnicity, and grants and loans received -- to a national databank. The government will record every student, regardless of whether he or she receives federal aid, in the databank.

The government's plan is to track students individually and in full detail as they complete their post-secondary education. The threat to our students' privacy is of grave concern, and the government has not satisfactorily explained why it wants to collect individual information..."
[WashingtonPost]




.: Who Took the Cookies From the Behavioral Cookie Jar? - 30th Mar 2005

"Consumer cookie deletion and the corresponding online advertising implications are currently hot topics. They've been written about abundantly in the last weeks by various trade publications (including ClickZ). By now, you probably know Firefox has the capability to erase cookies with a click of the mouse. Then Jupiter Research (a Jupitermedia Corp. division) found 4 out of 10 Internet users delete cookies from their primary computer at least once a month.

Online certainly isn't the only cookie jar that tracks consumer behaviors and information. Large grocery chains and retailers such as Safeway and Wal-Mart have practiced data collection superbly, for decades. People sign up for membership cards that supposedly provide savings on purchases. We rarely hear privacy-intrusion complaints associated with these reward cards. Most consumers don't even realize their beloved stores track their purchase behaviors and patterns..."
[ClickZ]




.: Stolen UC Berkeley laptop exposes personal data of nearly 100,000 - 29th Mar 2005

"A thief recently walked into a University of California, Berkeley office and swiped a computer laptop containing personal information about nearly 100,000 alumni, graduate students and past applicants, highlighting a continued lack of security that has increased society's vulnerability to identity theft.

University officials waited until Monday to announce the March 11 crime, hoping that police would be able to catch the thief and reclaim the computer. When that didn't happen, the school publicized the theft to comply with a state law requiring consumers be notified whenever their Social Security numbers or other sensitive information have been breached..."
[SF Gate]




.: Study: Cookies in security crosshairs - 26th Mar 2005

"An increasing number of people are blocking cookies or deleting them to protect their privacy or security, according to a new Jupiter Research study. Nearly 58 percent of online users deleted the small files, which are deposited on computers to track Web site habits, the research firm's 2004 survey found. As many as 39 percent may be deleting cookies from their primary computer every month, according to the study, released on Monday.

The market researcher attributes the trend to heightened concern over privacy and security issues among Internet users. Many people are using anti-spyware and firewall applications, it said..."
[news.com]






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