Groundbreaking Settlements Help in Adware Fight
For the first time ever, law enforcement officials in the state of New York have held advertisers responsible for ads displayed through adware. Cingular Wireless, Priceline.com and Travelocity.com settled with the Attorney General, agreeing to pay fines and take steps to help keep adware off users' PCs, however they did not admit guilt in the case. The three companies spent hundreds of thousands of dollars delivering ads through Direct Revenue LLC.
German Police Banned from Using Spyware
In a landmark decision, German's High Court ruled that police are banned from installing spyware on suspected criminals' computers without their knowledge. The nation's Interior Minister had planned to give the federal police more power in monitoring suspected terrorists and others by allowing them to spy on their PCs. But the High Court argued that searching computers is similar to searching homes and requires the suspect be notified.
Jail Time for British Privacy Violators
UK courts plan to start jailing people found guilty of trading or misusing the personal data of others. The British government has been under increasing pressure to institute harsher penalties as the small fines in the Data Protection Act have not deterred personal data thieves. Offenders could face up to two years in prison.
U.S. Senate Introduces New Privacy Bill
The U.S. is also taking steps to better protect peoples' personal information. The Senate has introduced a bill called the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act that includes tougher criminal penalties for ID theft. New stats from the Privacy Rights Clearing House say that more than 100 million records containing personal data have been subject to a security breach since February 2005.
Internet Use in China to Surpass U.S.
More than 10 percent of China's population is now online - 137 million people. The China Internet Network Information Center, a state-run think-tank, says that is an increase of 23 percent from a year earlier. With an estimated 210 million Americans using the Internet, China is set to surpass the States in the next few years if it keeps up this annual growth rate.
IT Hiccups Expected When Clocks Change
A federal policy signed into law in 2005, requiring the start of Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. to be moved from the first Sunday in April to the second Sunday in March, is expected to cause problems for IT infrastructure. The idea to also delay the return of standard time in the fall by a week was to save on energy use. But for IT, that means every software and hardware system relying on time-stamps needs to be checked and tested.