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Compaq leaves customer details open for all to see

Hits 7.5 out of 10 on the stupidometer

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Compaq has outdone itself by leaving extensive customer details for anyone to see on the Internet. For some reason it has decided that everyone in the world ought to be able to see everyone who has bought a Pocket PC 2002 upgrade.

And that means name, address, customer number, order number - it only stops short of giving credit card details, although we suspect enough information is here for someone imaginative to come up with something. There are ten of thousands of people here. If you're a reseller, it's a dream come true.

We had a quick poll in the office and decided this was a 7 out of 10 on the online stupidometer. However the fact that the accessible Web pages actually sport a link to Compaq's privacy policy added another 0.5 to the score.

We had a quick check of the policy to see if "we may, at our discretion and when we deem relevant, leave your details on the Web for anyone in the world to view" but couldn't find it. Instead we found this: "We do not sell, trade, or rent to others the Personally Identifiable Information we collect online. Unless we have your permission, we will share the Personally Identifiable Information you provide online only with other Compaq entities and/or businesses that provide services to Compaq and only for the purposes described above. Where Compaq engages third parties to perform services on our behalf, we will require them to observe the intent of this Online Privacy Statement."

Doesn't quite gel does it? Anyway, if Compaq would like to get in touch, we'll tell it where the gaping hole is. ®

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