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.
Voice of the Editor
Which isn’t completely true. I mean, occasionally I drop by when I manage to sneak out of the nonstop frat party over at Going Concern, but I’m mostly a wallflower over there. I’m happy to say that I’ve been given express permission (or explicit orders, if you like) to wander over here to AccountingWEB more often.
Why is that, you might ask? My job is to replace the irreplaceable Gail Perry as Editor-in-Chief. What does that mean? I don’t really know! I think it’ll be fun getting a feel for things, throwing in my own thoughts here and there, and listening to the discussions you’re having about the accounting profession.