ad info

 
CNN.com  technology > computing
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
TECHNOLOGY
TOP STORIES

Consumer group: Online privacy protections fall short

Guide to a wired Super Bowl

Debate opens on making e-commerce law consistent

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

More than 11,000 killed in India quake

Mideast negotiators want to continue talks after Israeli elections

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image


Michigan charges Web sites with privacy violations

Computerworld

June 19, 2000
Web posted at: 10:15 a.m. EDT (1415 GMT)

(IDG) -- The state of Michigan, which took action in February against online advertiser Doubleclick Inc., took aim again this week at four Web sites it says offer inadequate privacy policies.

The state attorney general's office charges that the sites aren't revealing the presence of Web "bugs," or invisible 1-by-1 pixel graphics that prompt consumers' browsers to exchange cookie information with third parties.

  MESSAGE BOARD
 

Stockpoint.com, Procrit.com, AmericasBaby.com and iFriends.net each received "notices of intended action" Monday alleging that they had violated Michigan's Consumer Protection Act by failing to fully disclose material facts about their information-gathering practices. Michigan Assistant Attorney General Tracy Sonnenborn said the notices give the companies 10 days to begin negotiations with the state to alter their privacy statements or face a formal lawsuit.

MORE COMPUTING INTELLIGENCE
IDG.net   IDG.net home page
  Computerworld's home page
  What does DoubleClick know about you?
  Internet privacy law costs a bundle
  Woman auctions personal info online
  Reviews & in-depth info at IDG.net
  E-BusinessWorld
  TechInformer
  Questions about computers? Let IDG.net's editors help you
  Subscribe to IDG.net's free daily newsletter for IT leaders
  Search IDG.net in 12 languages
  News Radio
  * Fusion audio primers
  * Computerworld Minute

Industry self-regulation isn't working because there are still too many problems with privacy statements, Sonnenborn added. "Many consumers are not aware that they are interacting with third parties."

Sonnenborn said the sites have each contacted the state to negotiate. Preston Bealle, president of New York-based Babygear.com Inc., which runs the AmericasBaby.com site, said he felt singled out for practices that were standard in the industry. But he said his company has agreed to make changes to its privacy statement, which he acknowledged didn't give complete information.

"We wrote it a long time ago, and as we evolved, there were things that we didn't attend to regarding the use of cookies," said Bealle. "We want to make sure that it fully discloses any kind of use of cookies that are there."

Stockpoint responded to the notice by posting a revised privacy statement that tells users how to locate and remove unwanted cookies from their browsers. The statement warns users that "companies advertising on our site have the ability to assign their own cookies. This is a process over which Stockpoint has no control."

John Mckeegan, a spokesman for Procrit, run by Ortho Biotech Inc., a subsidiary of Raritan, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson, said cookies and tags on banner ads let the site evaluate traffic patterns to reimburse advertisers. "Our contract with our vendors explicitly states that they cannot share information for any reason, even in aggregate form," said Mckeegan.

Although some question a state's right to control businesses incorporated outside its borders, Sonnenborn said the Michigan Consumer Protection Act gives the state jurisdiction to regulate companies that do business with state residents.

"It does seem like an interesting questions as to why they are essentially trying to remake the way the Web is used," said Bealle. "But I have no objections to the changes they are asking for, so I'm just going to do it and take care of the issue."



RELATED STORIES:
Three necessary principles behind privacy laws
June 7, 2000
Online records becoming too public, Clinton official suggests
June 5, 2000
How to fight privacy looters
May 31, 2000
Senate Democrats to introduce bill mandating Web privacy standards
May 24, 2000
Privacy fears prompt study, delay
May 22, 2000
Net privacy law costs a bundle
May 16, 2000
Rewriting the fourth amendment
May 12, 2000
More cops on the Net beat? Privacy groups say not so fast
April 10, 2000
Internet crime report irks privacy groups
March 13, 2000

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
FTC, Internet advertisers negotiating privacy guidelines
Computerworld
Internet companies propose consumer protection guidelines
Computerworld
Three necessary principles behind privacy laws
Network World Fusion
What does DoubleClick know about you?
PC World
Woman auctions personal info online
Industry Standard
Cyberangels watch over kids online
PC World
Intuit slapped with privacy violation suit
Computerworld
Internet privacy law costs a bundle
Network World Fusion

RELATED SITES:
DoubleClick home page
Stockpoint.com home page
Procrit home page
AmericasBaby home page
iFriends home page

Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 Search   

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.