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.: Ziff Davis settles privacy probe - 29th Aug 2002

"Ziff Davis Media will pay $125,000 to end a multistate investigation into a security breach on its computer system that exposed some 12,000 subscription orders last year. As part of its settlement agreement with the attorneys general of Vermont, New York and California, Ziff Davis also agreed to implement security measures to safeguard data on its systems. Ziff Davis did not admit to any wrongdoing in the matter.

The investigation stemmed from a subscription promotion last November that Ziff Davis ran on its Web site for its Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine. Due to what Ziff Davis called a "coding error," the site exposed the personal data, including credit card numbers, of some of the customers who signed up for the promotion. Some of those whose information was exposed were the victims of identify theft, the attorneys general said..."

.: DoubleClick to Open Cookie Jar - 28th Aug 2002

"For years, ad-serving cookies have crept about the Web like silent, virtual stalkers -- tracking surfers as they hop from site to site in the name of targeted marketing.

Now, Net users may finally get a glimpse of some of the data such tracking applications collect. As part of a settlement with regulators in 10 U.S. states, the Internet ad-serving firm DoubleClick said it will begin allowing Web users to view some of the records it compiles through the use of cookies..."

.: DoubleClick Loses Its Cookies - 27th Aug 2002

"In order to ward off an investigation into its privacy practices, online ad provider DoubleClick agreed Monday to adhere to stiff privacy restrictions and to pay a $450,000 settlement.

The 30-month investigation, by attorneys general from 10 states, peered into DoubleClick's practices of gathering Web users' personal information and surfing habits.

The New York City-based company, which sells its services to advertisers and major Internet sites, deposited unique "cookie" files on a user's computer that tracked the machine's online travels, allowing the company to display Web ads tailored to a person's shopping and surfing preferences..."

.: Politics: Weighing security against liberties - 27th Aug 2002

"Earlier this year, a few California scuba divers found out just how far the long arm of the law can reach since Sept. 11.

Federal agents concerned about scuba-related terrorist plans requested the entire database of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Unbeknownst to most of its members, the organization voluntarily handed over a list of more than 100,000 certified divers worldwide, explaining later that it wanted to avoid an FBI subpoena that would have required far more information to be disclosed..."

.: Microsoft puts privacy policy on display - 27th Aug 2002

"Microsoft has begun to incorporate new privacy policies and procedures in upcoming products, apparently in response to this month's settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

The newest beta, or test, version of Windows Media Player 9 Series prominently displays Microsoft's privacy policy for the program and offers consumers options for controlling just how much information they share when using the product. Unlike competing products, Windows Media Player 9 Series presents consumers with these options the first time the program is used..."

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