posted Aug 08, 2000

E-Privacy's Foggy Bottom Privacy from Companies8/8/2000; 10:00:49 AM 'The discovery spurred a controversy over the role of this unseen third party -- as well as lawsuits targeting and Coremetrics. The suits focused on the seemingly inflammatory fact that the hand-off was not mentioned in's privacy disclosures even though the information handed over was explicitly personal. 'But the alleged privacy transgression isn't as clear as it might seem. Coremetrics was a contractor to, which was turning over its customer activity data for analysis to Coremetrics. That outsourcing relationship between the two companies shed light on an area of relative obscurity in the debate over the acceptable ebb and flow of private information online.'It's worth remembering that it was an out-sourcing relationship, and the hoopla is over what could happen, not what has happened. While a reason for concern, as few we have trusted with our data have resisted the temptation to abuse it, nothing truly wrong has been done.However, from the article:'Privacy advocate Jason Catlett said concern over the issues misses the point. "A company that outsources doesn't necessarily make its customers more vulnerable to privacy violations than a large company that processes the data in-house," Catlett said.'I have to disagree. It greatly increases the potential correlation of the data, which greatly increases the value... which greatly increases the temptation on the part of Coremetrics. It is proper to be concerned... though a lawsuit is a bit much, admittedly


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