Is Netscape a Peeping Tom?

America Online Inc.’s subsidiary, Netscape, is being accused by New York attorneys of illegally monitoring downloads using SmartDownload software. The result of the claim against Netscape’s illegal spying on users is the filing of suit in federal court. The attorneys have asked that the legal claim be granted class action status.

Apparently users who have downloaded information from the internet have identifiable information transmitted back to Netscape. From there, information is compiled and profiles can be created of a customer’s downloads.

Depending on the resolution, this type of privacy violation could have an impact in other industries that would like to know who is downloading what information off the Internet. While most people seem to like the idea of maintaining web privacy, there are those who wouldn’t mind having access to what users are downloading. For instance, the music industry would just love to get the names of the many users it claims have downloaded copyrighted music illegally.


Already a member? log in here.

Editor's Choice

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Nov 24This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Dec 3The materials discuss the concepts and principles in the AICPA’s new special purpose framework.
Dec 9A key component to improving your firm’s workflow efficiency while enhancing your profitability at the same time is how you leverage emerging technologies.
Dec 9Kristen Rampe will cover how to diffuse the tension in challenging situations in this one-hour webinar.