Online Privacy Is Dead - What Now?

Thursday, 2 January 2003, 1:58 PM EST

The bad news is no secret, but it bears repeating: If you have bought anything online in the past several years, your personal information , including your home address and credit card number, is probably accessible via the Internet -- and available to people with less-than-noble intentions.

Driving home that stark reality, New York officials recently announced that thousands of people may have had their identities stolen through a software company that helped major corporations conduct credit checks. Although the incident proved to be an inside job, it underscored what many have long believed: Storing information online is not a secure practice. In fact, nearly three years ago, Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy pronounced online privacy dead on arrival. "If you're online, you have zero privacy," he said.

And exposure of personal data has not yet peaked. In coming months and years, a move toward wide adoption of Web services likely will mean more sharing of information, including customer data, among companies.

[ Read more ]




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