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AMD appears to waver over chip security ID

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Intel Developer Forum JC, over at JC's pages seems to have winkled out a statement from AMD about its stance on security ID numbers. As far as we at The Register are aware, this is the first time AMD has spoken out about Intel's plans for serial numbers on the Pentium III. On the AMD Web pages, the company says: "We certainly understand the motivation for improving security for web-based transactions and E-commerce. However, we are concerned about the potential of compromising the privacy of the individual. We are evaluating the alternatives for addressing this issue." That indicates to us, at least, that AMD has also had it made clear to it that there needs to be some secure mechanism for transactions across the Web. AMD has been eloquent in its silence on the matter. Meanwhile, an Intel representative here in Palm Springs said that Intel had planned to release the information about the ID number on the Pentium III in the way it did. However, that begs the question whether Intel really understands how it is perceived to the outside world. With its infamous motto Only the Paranoid Survive, it is clear that it should have set out its stall correctly from the start, and switch the chip off by default, as it said it could have done. ®

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