Recent News Articles from around the web

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.: Privacy lost with the touch of a keystroke? - 10th Nov 2004

"Personal info is easily accessed online - and privacy laws have yet to catch up. The highway is packed as you drive home and then a car swerves in front and cuts you off. You jot down the license plate number as the traffic stalls. When you get home, you log onto the Internet, type the plate into, and up pops the owner's name, home address, and driving record.

New neighbors move in across the street. You wonder how much they earn, how old he is, if they're married or just cohabiting. A few clicks on the county court's website and you're privy to the husband's Social Security number, details about his wife, and the fact that he had a financial spat with a local business..."
[CS Monitor]

.: Privacy breached by theft - 9th Nov 2004

"Is Wells Fargo negligent or just unlucky? That's a question Oakland resident Nate Hallanger was asking the other day after Wells informed him that his name, address and Social Security number went missing when four computers were stolen from the office of a business partner.

Hallanger, a 28-year-old grad student, was among potentially thousands of Wells customers whose personal info was lost in the theft from an office outside Atlanta..."

.: Firm under fire for privacy breach - 9th Nov 2004

"A U.S. company sells personal information on Canadians' habits. Privacy advocates have lodged a complaint about a U.S. company that combs cyberspace for personal information and sells the resulting dossiers. The case is the latest to highlight the growing flow of digital files across borders and problems in regulating the use of sensitive information.

It also raises questions about whether the federal law that governs the way businesses use information has any effect outside Canada..."

.: Aluria's Deal with Adware Vendor Sparks Debate - 2nd Nov 2004

"The presidential election has nothing on the debates in the anti-spyware industry. An announcement last week from adware vendor WhenU and anti-spyware company Aluria Software has raised red flags in the anti-spyware community.

As part of its new "Spyware SAFE Certification Program," Aluria gave passing marks to WhenU, which historically has been characterized as spyware by many in the industry. In a separate development, Aluria also now runs WhenU's UControl, a free desktop scanning program launched Monday that removes unwanted spyware programs..."

.: ID Chip May Not Be a Money Maker - 2nd Nov 2004

"The recent news that the Food and Drug Administration had approved an implantable microchip for humans has garnered a lot of attention. But that does not mean that the idea of chips as personal identity tags will ever generate profits.

The device, called the VeriChip and marketed by Applied Digital Solutions, horrified privacy advocates, who were concerned less with its F.D.A.-approved use than with where the technology might lead, declaring that people could become walking bar codes. Investors, however, piled into Applied Digital's stock, sending it up 68 percent, to $3.57, on Oct. 13, the day of the announcement..."
[NY Times]

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