The Buzz: Ferbruary 5, 2001

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-02-05

Fingerprinting May Aid Voters

Among the many issues swirling around the latest presidential election were questions about the absentee voting of military personnel from Florida.

Global services company Electronic Data Systems and a security enterprise, Identix, went to Washington last week to demonstrate technology they said will ameliorate the confusion by removing the need to mail paper ballots.

Identix technology uses a fingerprint biometric system to assign a unique digital signature to each voter. The fingerprint can then be applied to an EDS smart card, which military personnel could use to vote via a military intranet or the Internet.

The technology is already being used by the military for administrative projects, the companies said.

Stock Fund For Those Laid Off didnt want its laid-off employees to go away mad.

CEO Jeff Bezos last week announced that the e-tail giant was laying off 1,300 employees—about 15 percent of its work force—as it struggles for profitability.

But the company also said it will create a trust fund of $2.5 million in stock that will be sold in 2003 and distributed to employees who were laid off.

Amazon officials said it was a way to give these employees a chance to share in the long-term success of the company, even if they were no longer working for it.

The company just beat Wall Street analyst estimates in posting a loss last quarter of 25 cents per share.

Name List To Be Destroyed

A federal bankruptcy court judge has OKd the destruction of e-tailer Toysmart.coms customer list, which has been at the center of a highly publicized debate over privacy and the Internet.

Toysmart, as part of its liquidation after filing for bankruptcy, last year put its customer list—and all the personal information that goes with it—up for sale, even though the policy on its Web site said it would never release that information.

The move prompted the Federal Trade Commission and several states to file suit to try to stop the sale and also prompted legislators to file bills to keep it from happening again.

Last month, Buena Vista Internet Group, a Disney subsidiary, proposed buying the list for $50,000 and destroying it.

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