Feeds

Microsoft: Worried about web privacy? Tell us everything...

Redmond wants to look at your privates

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Microsoft has launched a drive to stop people splurging their personal information all over the internet - by asking them to splurge their personal information all over the internet.

As well as series of telly commercials, Microsoft have designed a special questionnaire designed to discover whether visitors are “carefree surfers, digital veterans or somewhere in-between”.

Visitors to the new privacy microsite are asked to share details of which social networks they use, what sort of information they share publicly and how much care they take to cover their tracks online. This data is then harvested by Edelman, the company commissioned to carry out the survey, along with details of the IP address of whoever fills in the survey.

Although the website expressly states that it “does not request or collect any personal information”, this claim appears to be contradicted by the later statement:

This survey collects information about your response such as the Internet Protocol (IP) address through which you access the Internet and the date and time you access the survey. This information is used to help improve the survey, analyze trends, and administer the survey.

Microsoft's research indicates that 85% of Americans are concerned about their privacy online, indicating a clear need for privacy-invading questionnaires to help clear the problem up.

In a blog post, Ryan Gavin, Windows general manager, wrote: “Very few of us believe that sharing some personal data online is a bad thing. It’s part of our everyday routines to fill out profiles, login to sites, and oftentimes provide personal information like our credit card or phone numbers in order to take advantage of all the web has to offer. In fact, the more personal and relevant the web gets, the better it can get.

“Yet, at some point, we all draw a line where we are uncomfortable sharing more. And when we think we’re being tracked, particularly by those we may not have a direct relationship with, our tolerance drops," Gavin said, apparently with a straight face.

And while tracking isn’t bad per se, we typically reach our information-sharing breaking point with very personal data, like items related to our kids or our health.” ®

The next step in data security

More from The Register

next story
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Infosec geniuses hack a Canon PRINTER and install DOOM
Internet of Stuff securo-cockups strike yet again
'Speargun' program is fantasy, says cable operator
We just might notice if you cut our cables
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo! caught in malvertising mess
Cisco says 'Kyle and Stan' attack is spreading through compromised ad networks
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
Microsoft to patch ASP.NET mess even if you don't
We know what's good for you, because we made the mess says Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.