Feeds

Users' details made public by Excite

Data Protection Act infringed as privacy busted wide open by glitch

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Excite UK's Web site has more holes in it than a battered old colander and it is compromising the privacy of those people who have subscribed to its personalised portal services. Instead of seeing their own personal details when they log into their "My Excite Start Page" at Excite.co.uk, users have had access to the name, date-of-birth, postcode and email address of any number of people. This serious lapse is in breach of the principles of the Data Protection Act and reveals a major security flaw in Excite's portal. Launching its new service four weeks ago it exclaimed: "Excite UK has raised the bar and announced a complete overhaul of the front page of its service, with a focus on enhancing its lead in personalisation and targeting for the benefit of both consumers and advertisers." Yet only two weeks after the service was launched it received complaints from users alerting them of the security breach. Two people have confirmed that their attempts to warn Excite about the problem were ignored. "I sent a feedback form to Excite.co.uk sometime last week and one the week before, so they should have details of my complaint," said one user who asked not to be identified. "At least they could have replied. Over the last two weeks or so, each time I log onto Excite my personal page shows different people's names… DOB, postcode and email address of these people. "Presumably, someone somewhere can also view mine," she said. Another Excite user said he'd seen personal information about eight different people. In a prepared statement Evan Rudowski, Excite UK's general manager, said: "We identified this error quickly and only a handful of users were actually affected. We have taken steps to contact those few users who were affected. We regret it when a problem occurs, because we care about our users and want them to enjoy and trust Excite." The Register is slightly concerned that Excite only moved to sort out this problem when we contacted them yesterday. If, as Rudowski makes out, Excite was aware of the problem, why didn't it notify people before The Register intervened? And why didn't Excite at least send a reply to those people who alerted them to the problem. The Register -- and those people whose personal privacy has been breached -- would like to know. ® Click here to email Tim Richardson. To read Evan Rudowski's statement in full, click here.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.