[ Wednesday, August 21, 2002 ]


There's an interesting case recently decided in Massachusetts that determined that a computer/internet service company that was hired by pharmaceutical companies to assist visitors to the companies websites could access personal information from the computers of the visitors. The case is similar to the In re DoubleClick Inc. Privacy Litigation case, where the marketing company can access that information from the internet visitors if the website owner agrees to allow the marketing company to do so. The plaintiffs styled the case as a wiretap by the marketing company, interfering with the communications between the visitors and the drug companies who owned the website. However, the judge rule that, even though the drug companies didn't give the marketing company specific rights to access the visitors information and "tap" into the communications between the visitors and the host companies, the host companies did agree to the software packet provided by the marketing company, and a part of the software and the ability and capacity to access this information.

Bottom line: if you're communicating with another person or entity on the web, assume that you have no privacy. You can prevent a lot of this by disabling your browser from allowing "cookies" but then you have to reenter your passwords every time and some sites won't let you view without allowing cookies.

Jeff [11:42 AM]

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