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Privacy Group Asks for Passport Service Probe

January 30, 2002|Reuters

A privacy group asked state law enforcement authorities to examine Microsoft Corp.'s Passport online identity service, saying it exposes consumers to fraud, junk electronic mail and identity theft.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center sent a letter to all 50 state attorneys general, asking them to protect consumers against what it called Microsoft's unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Launched in 1999, Passport aims to simplify Internet transactions by allowing consumers to store passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information in one location.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center and other privacy groups say the service allows Microsoft to track and profile Internet users, encourages junk e-mail and exposes consumers to identity theft by inadequately protecting their credit card numbers.

A Microsoft spokesman denied the allegations.

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