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.: Who's Watching WinWhatWhere? - 26th Mar 2002

"Spyware, anti-spyware programmers in virtual battle

It sounds like a James Bond subplot (OK, a geeky James Bond subplot) but this is real life. The folks who write spy software, sometimes called snoopware, are fed up with countermeasure anti-spy software like “Who’s Watching Me” that blows their cover. So the latest versions of spy software WinWhatWhere and Spectorsoft, released in the past several weeks, intentionally disable their anti-spy counterparts. And now the programmers at Who’s Watching Me are throwing down the virtual developer’s glove, calling for a duel. (OK, a geeky duel.)..."

.: Cell phone tracking raises privacy issues - 27th Feb 2002

"The nation's cell phone service providers will soon know exactly where every one of their customers is, at all times, and privacy rights groups are asking what they plan to do with the information.

All U.S. carriers are under Federal Communications Commission orders to make it possible for police to locate cell phones calling 911, something police can't do now. Carriers plan to use the same systems to sell services like helping stranded motorists even if they don't know their location, or finding the closest restaurant.

Because people with cell phone generally always carry their phone with them, the FCC regulations give the thriving market for personal information something its never had a chance to get: the exact locations at all times of more than 140 million people..."

.: Dumpster-diving the global village - 27th Feb 2002

"Media coverage of privacy has become boring and predictable, with most of the debate focusing on corporate uses and abuses of customer information.

In fact, the direct-marketing practice of using form-based information (like warranty registration cards) to segment customer lists into demographic, geographic or financial groups is decades old. Because of the limited nature of available consumer information in the past, that was all that was computationally feasible at the time.

Privacy abuses still hinge upon the question of whether the use of personal information is legitimate. But this duality of definition is an inadequate framework for discussing--let alone resolving--issues brought about by new technology..."

.: Microsoft Program Tracks User Habits - 21st Feb 2002

"Microsoft's new version of its popular Media Player software creates a list of the digital songs and movies each computer user has played — a potential treasure-trove for marketing companies, lawyers, even snooping spouses.

The company is notifying customers about the tactic after inquiries from The Associated Press. Microsoft says it has no plans to sell the data collected by Media Player, which comes free with the Windows XP (news - web sites) operating system. The company said last month it had sold more than 17 million copies of Windows XP..."

.: On a digital privacy crusade - 30th Jan 2002

"David Holtzman is on a crusade to change the way the digital world defines privacy.

Best known as the former chief technology officer of Network Solutions, the 45-year-old former cryptographic analyst with the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War oversaw the growth of the commercial Internet from 500,000 domain names to more than 20 million. He watched in amazement as technology made it easier for marketers to collect and distribute vast amounts of data--everything from the value of homes and stock options to arrest records and death certificates..."

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