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Beware The Broker

In This Issue:

1. Editor's Note: Beware The Broker
2. Today's Top Story
     - Firefox Grows To 15% Of U.S. Web Browser Market
3. Breaking News
     - Sun Banks On 'Uniqueness' Of New Server Offerings
     - Microsoft Says Hosted CRM Apps Due By Mid-2007
     - SOA Repository Locates Processes
     - Pumping Up Online Music, Video Ads
     - Hollywood Victory In Film-Sanitizing Suit Imperils Mash-Ups
     - Microsoft Updates Small-Business Windows Bundle
     - Prosecutors: UBS Sys Admin Believed 'He Had Created The Perfect Crime'
     - At A Glance: The UBS Computer Sabotage Trial
4. Grab Bag: Giant Plasma TVs; A USB Key Is Calling
     - World's Largest Plasma TV Goes On Sale (Sci-Tech Today)
     - Sandisk Adds Internet Phone Calls To USB Keys (Computeractive)
5. In Depth: Data Brokers Under The Microscope
     - Data Brokers Draw Increased Scrutiny
     - Data Brokers, Their Customers Spark Congress' Ire
     - IRS Tax Data Plans Drawing Fire
     - The High Cost Of Data Loss
6. Voice Of Authority
     - Why India's Wage Inflation Won't Bring Outsourced Tech Jobs Back To The U.S.
7. White Papers
     - Blended Security Threats: What Are They, And How Can You Stop Them?
8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
9. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote Of The Day:
"Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status." — Laurence J. Peter


1. Editor's Note: Beware The Broker

Want a list of 3,877 charity donors in Detroit? USAData will sell it to you for $465.24. How about 3,797 cat owners in Peoria? Available for $455.64. Interested in data on graduating high school seniors? The College Board sells that to 1,700 colleges and universities for 28 cents a kid. Then there are those who obtain cell phone and credit card records illegally and sell them to private investigators, law enforcement, and angry spouses planning a divorce.

The multibillion-dollar data brokering industry is not only growing rapidly, but the chains of data buyers and sellers are getting longer and longer. Sellers of consumer marketing data, from industry giants like Acxiom and ChoicePoint down to companies that sell marketing lists online, swear they take every precaution to protect the data they hold and sell it only to businesses that won't misuse the information or leave it vulnerable to theft. But one has to wonder at what point the chains become so long that the links become weak and the promises of those at the top are no longer honored.

The aforementioned examples—included in a data brokering story I wrote—begin to show how many organizations, from publishing companies to educational institutions to federal, state, and local governments, are buying and selling data. What particularly surprised me was not just how much data is being bought and sold, but how many times data is sold, resold, then resold again.

The report details the story of Kate del Solar, who recently received notice from Sacred Heart University that her personal information, including her Social Security number, was subject to identity theft because of a computer security breach at the school in May. But del Solar doesn't attend the school and didn't even apply there. While it's still not clear how the school got her information, one possible source was the College Board consortium that administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test and sells student data to schools.

It's incidents like this that increasingly have consumers asking, "Who has my data, and what are they doing with it?" As the chains of data brokers grow longer, businesses can expect to hear that question a lot more.

A more detailed look at this issue is contained in today's In Depth report. Please weigh in with your comments at my blog entry.

Rick Whiting
rwhiting@cmp.com


2. Today's Top Story

Firefox Grows To 15% Of U.S. Web Browser Market
Although Internet Explorer maintains dominant market share worldwide, one exception is Germany, where Firefox has almost 40% of the market.


3. Breaking News

Sun Banks On 'Uniqueness' Of New Server Offerings
Sun Microsystems is unveiling on Tuesday three x64 servers designed to take its lineup beyond the two-socket rackmount fare that makes up the bulk of the market.

Microsoft Says Hosted CRM Apps Due By Mid-2007
It also promises integration with competing vendors' ERP and CRM software.

SOA Repository Locates Processes
Fujitsu Computer Systems and Software AG jointly release a metadata repository that lets different divisions within an organization share service-oriented architecture-based services.

Pumping Up Online Music, Video Ads
Pump Audio launches an editing tool that lets people license music to create video ads for Web sites.

Hollywood Victory In Film-Sanitizing Suit Imperils Mash-Ups
A ruling against four companies that edit Hollywood movies to remove the dirty bits, without the studios' permission, could be trouble for mash-ups and parodies, as well as sites like Google Video and YouTube that host them.

Microsoft Updates Small-Business Windows Bundle
The upgrade comes in two versions, including a premium edition that contains Windows Server, Exchange Server 2003, and SQL Server 2005 Workgroup Edition for $1,299.

Microsoft Launches SBS 2003 R2 With Pricing, Licensing Incentives
But partners say limited or restricted SBS functionality may turn off SMB shops.

Prosecutors: UBS Sys Admin Believed 'He Had Created The Perfect Crime'
Defendant Roger Duronio, a former UBS PaineWebber employee charged with planting a logic bomb that crippled his former employer's network, was a dangerous combination of disgruntled employee and a man in financial straits, prosecutors said in closing arguments to the jury.

At A Glance: The UBS Computer Sabotage Trial
Read on for a snapshot of the key details and arguments in the UBS PaineWebber trial.

All Our Latest News

Watch The News Show

John Soat With 'News Or Not!'
Vonage gets sued—again, IBM offers a Linux version of Lotus Notes, the FBI investigates online employment scams, and more.

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4. Grab Bag: Giant Plasma TVs; A USB Key Is Calling

World's Largest Plasma TV Goes On Sale (Sci-Tech Today)
If you've been dreaming about watching that Big Game, Matsushita can make that game even bigger. The company announced yesterday that its new 103-inch Panasonic Plasma High-Definition TV will go on sale in early 2007.

Sandisk Adds Internet Phone Calls To USB Keys (Computeractive)
The Cruzer Micro and Cruzer Titanium USB keys from Sandisk now come with the Skype service installed and ready for making phone calls over the Internet.


5. In Depth: Data Brokers Under The Microscope

Data Brokers Draw Increased Scrutiny
As the buying and selling of consumer data becomes a giant business, legislators are taking a closer look and considering regulations.

Data Brokers, Their Customers Spark Congress' Ire
Last week's congressional hearings bring to light the fact that just about all personal information is for sale, and the issue lawmakers are wrangling with now is what to do about it.

IRS Tax Data Plans Drawing Fire
Criticism is mounting over the Internal Revenue Service's plans to allow tax preparers to sell personal data to third parties.

The High Cost Of Data Loss
Sensitive personal data has been misplaced, lost, printed on mailing labels, posted online, and just left around for anyone to see. The situation has become untenable. Here's the ugly truth about how it keeps happening, who's been affected, and what's being done about it.


6. Voice Of Authority

Why India's Wage Inflation Won't Bring Outsourced Tech Jobs Back To The U.S.
U.S. companies outsource to India primarily to save money. But tech wages on the subcontinent are rising at about 15% per year. Many U.S. programmers welcome this news—as Indian salaries rise, it's less likely that their jobs will be offshored. Or so they think. But a conversation I had with the CEO of one of India's fastest-growing outsourcers reveals why jobs sent to India aren't coming back anytime soon.


7. White Papers

Blended Security Threats: What Are They, And How Can You Stop Them?
This white paper will brief you on the issues surrounding today's growing computer threats and vulnerabilities, as well as introduce a new blended threat solution equation: Anti-Virus + Anti-Vulnerability = Blended Threat Security Solution. This document will show you how to protect yourself before you become a victim.


8. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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