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MS Passport – let the games begin

It's a right meridianum spectaculum, let me tell you

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All your data (and biz plans) are belong to Microsoft

In the gladatorial arena that is the Vulture Central Mailbag, there's nothing that the crowd like better than a bit of one-on-one combat to the death. This lunchtime's entertainment features retarius John Lettice, armed with trident and net, versus secutorAdam Alexander:

The document from which you quote is the terms of use, or a very general (and common) document that outlines the rights of Microsoft as the owner of the Passport web site. You did not, however, point out the link at the bottom of that very page to Microsoft's privacy policy. The privacy policy dictates what Microsoft will and will not do with the information they collect, regardless of the rights that are bestowed upon them by the terms of use. The privacy policy makes it very clear that any information divulged to third parties will be of a statistical nature and not linked to any specific person(s). Hotmail and MSN Messenger also have similar privacy policies.

The article was either written based on seriously inadequate research, or the author purposely included only the most shocking information in order to write a biased anti-Microsoft editorial. This article was not presented as an editorial but as a news story. Based on this, I think it would be prudent for you to post a correction on your web site. I would be interested in hearing your response.

This impudence provoked John to strike back thus:

Fiddlesticks. The terms of use clearly assign copyright of any of your IP that happens to pass through Microsoft systems to Microsoft. This has nothing to do with personal privacy rights - you can steal my IP without invading my privacy, you are merely starving my children. We are journalists. We know about such things.

Provoking Mr Alexander to escalate the conflict with:

I may stand corrected. Please send me any information you have concerning MS's hijacking of personal information sent over its network(s), and I will announce my defeat.

Judging from the intelligence level of the postings and email I have seen from your outfit, I may need to clarify that the above is a rhetorical request.

I sent this email under the impression that I was dealing with a reputable journalistic outfit. That was obviously my mistake. You may carry on in your non-journalistic endeavors.

Thanks very much, we will - morituri te salutant!

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