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8/16/2005
02:39 PM
Tony Kontzer
Tony Kontzer
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Customer Data: Ethical Collection Is As Important As Diligent Protection

In This Issue: Data Collection, Operating-System Feedback, And Reviews
1. Editor's Note: Customer Data: Ethical Collection Is As Important As Diligent Protection
2. Today's Top Story: Operating-System Observations
    - Microsoft Buffeted By Criticism Over Vista DRM
    - Review: Internet Explorer 7 For XP Beta 1
3. Breaking News
    - Google Expected Fight Over Microsoft Hire...
    - ...And Is Now Looking For Gourmet Chefs
    - New Trend Found In IM Enterprise Threats
    - Court OKs Blocking Spam
    - Exploits For CA Backup Bug Appear
    - CSC Wins Contract To Develop Biometrics System For U.S. Military
    - Microsoft Releases File Sync Tool For XP
    - Microsoft Names Former Wal-Mart Exec As Chief Operating Officer
    - AOL Acquires Online Storage Vendor XDrive
    - Court Issues Mixed Ruling On BlackBerry
    - Indiana Seeks Linux On Every High School Desktop
4. In Depth: Personal Tech & Reviews
    - Review: 2-Megapixel Camera Phone Advances Photos
    - Review: Hawking Wi-Fi Device Frustrates, Rewards
    - Yahoo Debuts Audio-Search Feature
    - Review: Device Sends Music From PC To Home Audio System
    - Review: NEC 23-Inch LCD Monitor
5. Voice Of Authority: Manage Time, Boost Productivity
6. White Papers: Turning Local Clicks Into Leads
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"The most overlooked advantage to owning a computer is that if they foul up, there's no law against whacking them around a little." -- Joe Martin


1. Editor's Note: Customer Data: Ethical Collection Is As Important As Diligent Protection

It's been two weeks since the University of Southern California revealed that a hacker had gained access to more than a quarter million records of past applicants, and trust me when I say that the next big revelation is just around the corner. Somewhere, there's a big-name company wringing its hands over how to handle disclosing a breach of customer data that already occurred. Because when it comes to customer information, this has been the year of the fumble.

The reason I bring this up is this: What has begun to disturb me more than the breaches themselves is the fact that there have been so many that each subsequent disclosure gets a lesser reaction from me. At first, I was astonished that companies could be so careless with such potentially lethal information being in the bad guys' hands. Then I was angered that they were taking such shoddy care of the personal information customers had entrusted to them. But eventually, I just started shrugging and thinking, "Eh, another day, another breach."

If I--someone who's charged with covering these kinds of things--can react so flippantly to these disturbing developments, imagine how numb the public must be to the string of breaches. Recently, that logic led me to thinking that the moment we're all used to the threat of having our most private information violated is the moment we've officially reached epidemic levels. The scary thing is, based on the behavior of too many companies, this epidemic appears to have lots of opportunity to grow.

If the vulnerability of our data isn't alarming enough, read the rest of my blog entry to consider the ways that businesses are getting more creative--or should I say sneakier--about making sure the data keeps flowing.

Tony Kontzer
tkontzer@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story: Operating-System Observations

Microsoft Buffeted By Criticism Over Vista DRM
Microsoft is taking a few hits over a digital-rights-management feature in its upcoming Vista operating system.

Review: Internet Explorer 7 For XP Beta 1
Beta 1 of Microsoft's next version of Internet Explorer provides tabbed browsing and Favorites-based RSS-feed viewing and bookmarking.


3. Breaking News

Google Expected Fight Over Microsoft Hire ...
Google agreed to pay Kai-Fu Lee's full salary and let his stock options vest even if an agreement he signed at Microsoft prevented him from being able to work for up to a year.

... And Is Now Looking For Gourmet Chefs
Google feeds its staff pretty well. The chefs must be able to cook such meals as ahi tuna, pork loin steak, eggplant ratatouille, and seared day boat scallops in green coconut curry sauce.

New Trend Found In IM Enterprise Threats
The number of viruses threatening corporate instant-messaging systems is on the rise, and some pesky new techniques are cropping up as well.

Court OKs Blocking Spam
White Buffalo Ventures, an online singles site, doesn't have a constitutional right to spam the University of Texas, the court said.

Exploits For CA Backup Bug Appear
Hackers are circulating exploits against a just-disclosed vulnerability in Computer Associates' ARCserve backup software.

CSC Wins Contract To Develop Biometrics System For U.S. Military
The contract, worth up to $22 million, will have Computer Sciences Corp. developing the technology for the Department of Defense. The technology will be used to screen non-U.S. citizens entering U.S. military facilities.

Microsoft Releases File-Sync Tool For XP
SyncToy uses a simple wizard-style interface to walk users through the copying process. It will copy files from one folder to another, keep both folders in sync, and automatically delete files in one folder when they've been erased in another.

Microsoft Names Former Wal-Mart Exec As Chief Operating Officer
Kevin Turner, a former Wal-Mart CIO who started at the retailer as an hourly sales associate, will head up Microsoft's worldwide sales, marketing, and service staffs, as well as its distribution and IT operations.

AOL Acquires Online Storage Vendor XDrive
XDrive will help AOL provide its customers with online storage and backup for files and digital media.

Court Issues Mixed Ruling On BlackBerry
Observers say the upshot will be dragging the patent dispute, already perking since 2001, out even further.

Indiana Seeks Linux On Every High School Desktop
Linspire and PC maker Wintergreen have teamed up and already shipped thousands of systems to dozens of schools across the Hoosier state.

Find More News

Watch More News
The News Show's John Soat offers up his usual offbeat take on the latest IT headlines.

In Thursday's episode:

Chris Murphy On Pie In The Sky

John Soat On Cisco Plays Password

Lori MacVittie On End Run Around Microsoft


----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

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Enter The EETimes Caption Contest
Write an engineering-related caption to the wacky (well, semiwacky, anyway) photo, and win fame and fortune! Well, fame, anyway.

-----------------------------------------


4. In Depth: Personal Tech & Reviews

Review: 2-Megapixel Camera Phone Advances Photos
Sprint's Samsung MM-A800 is the first 2-megapixel camera phone in the U.S. It's a weird hybrid--overkill for a camera phone, and yet not good enough to replace your standalone camera.

Review: Hawking Wi-Fi Device Frustrates, Rewards
This unique device from Hawking combines a Wi-Fi signal locator and a USB adapter. However, it only does one of those jobs well.

Yahoo Debuts Audio-Search Feature
The free service has an index of more than 50 million audio files, which include songs, newscasts, and speeches.

Review: Device Sends Music From PC To Home Audio System
Looking a bit like an oversize runner's baton, the SoundBridge M1000 from Roku Labs is one of many product designs now available to harmonize the old and new in home audio.

Review: NEC 23-Inch LCD Monitor
NEC's 23-inch LCD 2335WXM has enough entertainment features to blow you out of the water, but it's not quite as useful as an office display.


5. Voice Of Authority

How To Manage Your Staff Time
Ted Kemps explains how adopting new tools and strategies to manage staff time can give productivity a shot in the arm.


6. White Papers

Turning Local Clicks Into Leads--Leveraging The Power Of Local Search
IT services providers and value-added reseller that do business on a local or regional level face a specific set of challenges in trying to generate targeted leads. This white paper explains how technologies can be deployed to generate relevant leads cost-effectively and efficiently.


7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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