The Buzz: February 04, 2002

A privacy group is taking another shot at Microsoft's Passport service over the familiar issue of security.

More Eyes on Passport

A privacy group is taking another shot at Microsofts Passport service over the familiar issue of security.

In a letter sent last week to the attorneys general of all 50 states, the Electronic Privacy Information Center claims Microsofts online identity service and its related Wallet, Kids Passport, HailStorm and .Net services unfairly gather the personal information of consumers and expose it to potential fraud and theft.

The group says in its letter that the Federal Trade Commission has failed to respond to similar requests, so now it is turning to state officials.

"Immediate state action is necessary to protect consumers and ensure Microsoft does not continue to improperly collect personal information," the letter states.

Passport, introduced in 1999, has been used in Microsoft sites such as Hotmail for years but gained attention last year when it was included in Windows XP.

Peace, Love and $120,000

IBM and two of its advertising agencies last week agreed to pay $100,000 in fines related to an ad campaign that included covering sidewalks in San Francisco last year with graffiti. The black-stenciled graffiti was part of IBMs "Peace, Love and Linux" campaign. The stencils depicted a peace symbol, a heart and a penguin, which is used in the Linux logo. City officials called the graffiti vandalism.

In a deal reached with the citys Board of Supervisors, IBM and the ad agencies—Ogilvy & Mather and Mindshare—will split the $20,000 cleanup cost and a $100,000 donation to the San Francisco Clean City Coalition program.

Groove Adds More Muscle

Peer-to-peer software bellwether Groove Networks has brought in a couple of seasoned IT executives to bolster the business side of its operations. Groove has appointed Chuck Teubner president and chief operating officer. He will report to CEO and Chairman Ray Ozzie. Teubner most recently was COO at USinternetworking.

Groove also named 20-year IT industry veteran Kelly Collins its vice president of government systems. Collins had been a sales executive at Bowstreet.