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.: DoubleClick turns away from ad profiles - 8th Jan 2002

"Online advertising company DoubleClick has phased out its Internet ad profiling service as part of its shift from media services, proving consumer tracking doesn't always pay.

The New York-based company jettisoned its "intelligent" targeting service effective Dec. 31, a company representative confirmed Tuesday. Launched in 2000, the product allowed marketers to target ads based on a database of some 100 million profiles. The technology tracked people online anonymously and then served ads based on personal tastes.

The company simply decided not to continue the product in 2002, according to the representative..."

.: File-sharing programs carry Trojan horse - 3rd Jan 2002

"A pair of popular file-sharing programs have become privacy time bombs, according to computer experts.

Antivirus company Symantec last week reported the presence of "spyware" bundled with Grokster and Limewire, two popular file-swapping downloads. The code evidently does not damage computers, but it surreptitiously sends personal information such as user ID names and the Internet address of computers to another Web address.

Advertising software called "Clicktilluwin" that comes bundled with the file-swapping programs carries a program called "W32.DIDer," which Symantec has classified as a Trojan horse--a piece of code that takes over parts of a person's computer unseen in order to carry out its own instructions..."

.: Microsoft interactive TV to track viewers - 11th Dec 2001

"Microsoft and Predictive Networks signed a deal Tuesday to incorporate profiling technology into the software behemoth's interactive TV platform, matching similar moves in the market.

Through the partnership, Microsoft said it will incorporate Predictive's software into its ITV operating system to create profiles based on subscribers' viewing habits--but without collecting personally identifiable data. The viewer profiles are used to target advertising, match and recommend programming, and conduct market research.

By incorporating Predictive's software, Microsoft hopes to make its technology more attractive to advertisers and consumers, who will be able to view advertising, content and programming tailored to a composite identity based on a history of viewing patterns. Ideally, this type of targeted information will give cable companies the chance to charge a premium for marketing placements on the service..."

.: Plugging security over privacy - 7th Dec 2001

"As the tangle of privacy and security issues tightens in the aftermath of Sept. 11, Jack Palmer forges ahead by painting a kinder, gentler face on Big Brother.

Palmer is the CEO of ICaughtYou, a private Bonita Springs, Fla.-based company that allows corporations to monitor their employees' Internet usage. His company has been one of the unsuspecting beneficiaries of the terrorist attacks.

Even before Sept. 11, the downturn in the economy led to a heightened interest in worker productivity and in the products of ICaughtYou and competitors SurfControl and Websense.

Now, a new emphasis on national security has put corporate security in the spotlight and has led to a quadrupling of hits on the ICaughtYou Web site..."

.: Debate on Privacy Goes Private - 4th Dec 2001

"The debate about new surveillance powers for law enforcement officials, Americans, in various ways, are asking a basic question: Are we willing to curtail personal freedom in exchange for greater national security?

Now, a debate heating up in Washington puts a twist on the query: Are we willing to curtail access to information in exchange for cybersecurity?

The cyberdebate involves legislation intended to assure private companies that if they share information with the government about their experiences with hackers and other types of cyberattacks, the information will be protected from public disclosure..."

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