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Information From Web Databases

September 29, 1996

Re "The Web Is Watching, and You Are the Target," editorial, Sept. 22:

The prospect for abuse of information is not a good reason to scare your readers about a technology effective at disseminating information. Electronic publishing itself shouldn't come under attack merely because some organizations make bad decisions about what to publish and the small risk of defacement by hackers--both flaws have equivalents in other media.

"The Web" is not watching us, any more than "the English language" is. There is no organizing force to the Web to try to make it watch. If there was such a force, it couldn't watch because all hyper-text transfer protocol (HTTP) requests the Web uses are anonymous; a Webmaster can only know what network the information was sent to, not the individual.

You don't attack cars because little kids shouldn't accept rides from strangers. Of course there are new risks in a new world; technology does not inoculate one against the effects of giving out personal information.

RICHARD KAIN

Beverly Hills

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