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What privacy risks do you run when surfing the web or using particular browsers?

Passport to Surf
"Anyone visiting Italy and wanting to use an internet point, or cafe, will need to take along their passport - and be prepared for a major invasion of their privacy, writes John Hooper."
Full story - Guardian
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 08:18:51 EDT 2005

Intellitext Debuts MSN Search Toolbar With Privacy Protection
"The tool is designed to deliver information from the Web or desktop without capturing user information. The company is expanding the capabilities of Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Search Toolbar with a proactive research tool that offers users some added privacy."
Full story - InformationWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:51:40 EDT 2005

Opera Makes Its Browser Free, With No Ads
"Opera Software ASA is now giving away its Web browser and removing ads in an effort to broaden its user base and capture revenues by referring traffic to search engines and e-commerce sites."
Full story - TBO
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:03:33 EDT 2005

Adware infiltrates Google
"At least two new pieces of surreptitiously installed software can hijack the most popular search engine, placing ads amid legitimate Google search results on infected PCs, a computer security company recently revealed."
Full story - Newsday
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 18 11:21:39 EDT 2005

Scams hold back personalised search
"The growth of identity theft and phishing scams could kill the promise of more personalised search technologies, Steve Berkowitz, chief executive at told IWR's sister online title in an interview. "The benefits to the user will be incredible, but whether the user will allow those benefits to happen over time is something that we have to wait and see," he said."
Full story - Information World Review
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 11:18:33 EDT 2005

Internet Companies Take Aim At Phishers
"WITH CONSUMERS INCREASINGLY CONCERNED WITH preserving online privacy, Microsoft last week stepped up its public efforts to convince consumers that the Internet is safe. The company last week said its new browser will have a feature that can warn people about known identity-stealing "phishing" sites. Adware company WhenU last year started a similar program that involves serving consumers pop-ups that warn them when they have landed on a known phishing site."
Full story - MediaPostPublications
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 08:10:30 EDT 2005

New Microsoft tool could allow tracking
"Microsoft Corp. will soon release a security tool for its Internet browser that privacy advocates say could allow the company to track the surfing habits of computer users. Microsoft officials say the company has no intention of doing so. The new feature, which Microsoft will make available as a free download within the next few weeks, is prompting some controversy, as it will inform the company of Web sites that users are visiting."
Full story - The Daily Item
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 27 08:28:32 EDT 2005

Are women safer surfers than men?
"Today we bring you another daft, self-serving survey of Internet users that marketing types have used to generate some headline grabbing statistics. In this case, the shocking news that men are more likely to be victims of online scams and viruses than are women."
Full story - The Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Aug 26 12:02:20 EDT 2005

Consumers Want Personalization -- and Privacy
"Personalization remains something most consumers want, though their privacy fears continue to escalate. According to the second annual personalization study conducted by personalization vendor Choicestream, 80 percent of consumers in the 2005 survey were interested in receiving personalized content."
Full story - ClickZStats
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 11:32:28 EDT 2005

Spyware heats up the debate over cookies
"Internet users are taking back control of their computers, and online marketers and publishers are not pleased with the results. But they don't quite know what to do about their conundrum -- if it is a conundrum, since they can't even agree on that."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:08:18 EDT 2005

In 'Cookie' Fight, It's Not Clear Who's Winning
"Internet users are taking back control of their computers, and online marketers and publishers are not pleased. But they do not quite know what to do about their conundrum, if it is a conundrum, since they cannot even agree on that."
Full story - E-Commerce Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Aug 13 12:29:35 EDT 2005

Adware Maker Steps Away From Pop-Ups
"A pioneer of software that tailors pop-up ads to Internet users' browsing habits is beginning to shun a practice that has invited much derision and plenty of lawsuits. A new service Claria Corp. is launching this month will still deliver advertising to the computer desktops of Web surfers. Only this time, they won't be annoying pop-ups."
Full story - L. A. Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 1 07:39:33 EDT 2005

Danger lurking on web freebies
"Cyber criminals have found a new doorway into our hard drives, this time under the guise of seemingly friendly community sites, blogs and freebies. Since the beginning of the year, US security company Websense reports it has discovered more than 2500 incidents of innocuous-looking websites distributing malicious code, trojan horses and dangerous spyware designed to steal information."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jul 29 02:45:20 EDT 2005

A New Stab at Password Protection
"The increase in identity theft has prompted two Stanford University professors to develop software that protects computer passwords from internet thieves. John Mitchell and Dan Boneh will unveil Pwdhash, software that scrambles passwords typed into websites, then creates a unique sign-on for each site visited, at the Usenix Security Symposium in Baltimore next week."
Full story - Wired
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Jul 26 00:31:32 EDT 2005

New EPIC Page Describes "Flash Cookies"
"Because more internet users are "tossing their cookies" in order to avoid being tracked online, one company has proposed to track users through a feature in Macromedia Flash software. "Flash cookies" make it possible for websites to track users, even if they delete their normal cookies."
Full story - EPIC's new Flash Cookies page
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jul 22 09:23:35 EDT 2005

The Web cookie is crumbling -- and marketers feel the fallout
"... A recent study by international research advisory organization JupiterResearch has found that nearly 60 per cent of American Internet users have deleted cookies from their primary computers, with 39 per cent doing so on a monthly basis. According to the report, as more and more people block or delete cookies, it could cause the long-term measurement of consumer Web surfing behaviour to be "severely compromised.""
Full story - Globe and Mail
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Jul 21 08:28:31 EDT 2005

Walter Mossberg: Personal Technology
"Suppose you bought a TV set that included a component to track what you watched, and then reported that data back to a company that used or sold it for advertising purposes. Only nobody told you the tracking technology was there or asked your permission to use it. You would likely be outraged at this violation of privacy. Yet that kind of Big Brother intrusion goes on every day on the Internet, affecting millions of people."
Full story - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Jul 17 09:11:55 EDT 2005

Is Firefox spyware's next target?
"Security practitioners love to trumpet Firefox as the perfect solution to the massive amount of vulnerabilities that plague Microsoft's flagship browser, Internet Explorer. It's true that IE has more than its fair share of problems. At the very least, it's an easy target for spyware. But is Firefox a better alternative for providing users a safe browsing experience?"
Full story - SearchSecurity
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jul 13 10:28:24 EDT 2005

That's the way Web cookies crumble
"Online marketers are scrambling to protect one of the key tools of their trade: the cookie. Faced with reports showing that more and more computer users regularly delete the tracking files automatically downloaded by Web browsers, marketers and Web site publishers are launching a "cookies can be good for you" campaign. They argue that cookies - small files that Web sites use to identify users and to serve up ads - don't deserve their bad reputation and shouldn't be lumped with such Web scourges as spyware and viruses."
Full story - Kansas City Star (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Jul 9 10:11:35 EDT 2005

Ad blockers may kill off free Web content
"ADVERTISING GIANT Doubleclick recently warned that the arrival of new ad-blocking software in browsers would kill-off free content on the Net. I was so shocked I turned off my image and pop-up blockers immediately for fear of actually having to pay for the virtual universe of crap I have to wade through for diamonds every day."
Full story - The Inquirer
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jul 6 11:56:54 EDT 2005

Microsoft bangs the privacy DRM
"Microsoft has detailed its forthcoming privacy and security plans, which include enhancements to Internet Explorer 7 and the addition of digital rights management software into applications at document level. Despite earlier plans not to do a browser update until Longhorn's release in 2006, Microsoft chairman Bill Gates confirmed that code for IE 7 will be available this summer in beta and in full by Christmas. The browser will incorporate antivirus technology from recently acquired Sybari, and enhanced anti-phishing software."
Full story - vnunet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Jul 6 09:08:41 EDT 2005

Iranian net censorship powered by US technology
"Internet censorship in Iran is amongst the most restrictive and sophisticated in the world, a technical study has revealed. And much of the filtering technology in use was developed by western companies."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Jun 27 15:38:00 EDT 2005

Other resources on WEB SURFING & WEB BROWSERS:
  • Bugnosis - Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Web Bugs
  • FAQ: Web Bugs
  • How Companies Can Track Your Movements on the Internet
  • You're Being Followed (This Is Not News)

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    Privacy Watch Index

    FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
    From The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...
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    FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...
    Read more

    Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
    ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...
    Read more

    Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
    A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...
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    Court strikes down bank privacy law
    Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...
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    FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
    Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...
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    Another data security bill in the works
    Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...
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    Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
    Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...
    Read more

    Touch-screen voters feel exposed
    ... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...
    Read more

    Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
    I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...
    Read more

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