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Online travel company Travelocity has been criticised by security experts after making personal details of site users visible on its site.

In a grovelling apology issued to the press, Travelocity said that names and addresses of people who had entered some of its competitions had been "inadvertently made accessible" through a link on the site.

"Upon being made aware of this situation," the company said, "we immediately removed the data from our site. At no time were any member profiles, credit card information or customer data exposed."

Security experts have criticised the company for bad security practice. Paul Rogers, a network security analyst at MIS, said that it was a very basic error, but one that happens quite frequently.

"Information from forms should be stored outside the web root," he said. "For a company that has implemented a security structure it is a surprising mistake to make, but power is nothing without control and security is nothing without common sense."

Neil Barrett, technical director at Information Risk Management, echoes his sentiments. He commented: "They could have ten times the firewall protection they have and still cock up the arrangement of content on the site."

Travelocity said that the mistake had served as a wake up call about the protection of its members' privacy: "We regret this incident occurred. We take the privacy of those who participate on our site, whether they are members, contest participants or visitors, very seriously." ®

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