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## Microsoft Opts-In Hotmail Users704

medeii writes "East Side Journal reports that without telling anyone, Microsoft has suddenly changed the privacy preferences for all Hotmail users. They're now sharing your name and other personal information with third parties, even if you said you didn't want that when you signed up. (If you're a user, login, go to Options > Personal Profile, and un-check the boxes at the bottom of that page.)" The same reporter has written a follow-up article today.
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## Microsoft Opts-In Hotmail Users

• #### You think that's bad? (Score:4, Interesting)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @10:38PM (#3534289) Homepage
I'll do you one better.

Mozilla users can't access Options->Personal Profile to opt out.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @10:45PM (#3534351)
Neither can Opera users who identify themselves as either Opera or Mozilla. Switch the identifier to IE 5.0, however, and the personal profile page suddenly works perfectly. Way to go, MS.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:2, Informative)

I'm using Opera 6.02 for Win, identifying as Mozilla 4.78, and the page worked just fine for me. I don't know about 6.01, which you may still be using (6.02 was just released a day or two ago). Probably was just some minor issue in earlier versions of Opera. I know I'd had problems with other Hotmail features before upgrading, so just updating Opera should help anyone having the same problem.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:3, Insightful)

I sent off a nice long comment to Hotmail about this very fact (I'm sure they'll ignore it). Basically I mentioned the fact that they should just give me the damn HTML and let *me* decide it its supported. And since it was basically a simple form, even Lynx could handle it.

If you got to Help, there a link at the bottom to send comments. Select "other" from there so that you can actually put in your comment.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:2, Funny)

Sounds like a plan, lets spam hotmail and tell them to make it easier for us to make it harder for them to spam us.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:5, Insightful)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @10:54PM (#3534416)
It doesn't matter. All they had to do is sell it once to some unscrupulous company in the minutes when the box was unchecked, and the dammage is done. There's no web form that can undo it. The effectively have licence to the data in your account during that brief period. Ingenious of them. Glad I don't have an account there.
• #### Is this even legal? (Score:3, Interesting)

Sorry to ask the obvious question, but since IANAL, I'd be interested to know. If you have explicitly said you don't want a company to reveal your private details, can they legally change your mind for you? I realise that blanket statements about changing Ts&Cs without notice might apply to services like Hotmail, but that doesn't necessarily make them legal either. I would have expected this to fall foul of data protection legislation, at least in most European countries.

• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:4, Interesting)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @10:54PM (#3534421) Homepage
Microsoft® .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later.

Netscape navigator 4.08 or later is supported, but not my Mozilla 0.99? a step backward? or basically just not going to be friendly towards open source?

this sucks.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:2, Insightful)

Netscape navigator 4.08 or later is supported, but not my Mozilla 0.99? a step backward? or basically just not going to be friendly towards open source?

Well, they weren't found guilty of trying to run Mozilla out of business, just Netscape. I'm sure they're sensitive to charges that they are deliberately breaking compatibility with Netscape. But they're free to crush everyone else.

• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:4, Funny)

<gmhowell@gmail.com> on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:58PM (#3534786) Homepage Journal
Don't you read anything? Everyone knows that if they support Mozilla, they will have to open source Excel. It's those damned viral licenses.

• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:3, Informative)

I presume most people here run websites. Many people have privacy policies (or other such useful but non-vital information) and PHP/Perl is pretty standard.

<?php
if (index(getenv("USER_AGENT"),"MSIE")>0)
{
echo "<p>We have detected you are using a non-standard browser which may not display this page properly. Please upgrade to Galeon 0.2 or later, Mozilla 0.9 or later, or any version of Netscape Navigator</p>";
}
else
{
}
?>
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:4, Insightful)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:06PM (#3534484)
People smart enough to use mozilla should be smart enough to not trust their personal info to microsoft either.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:2, Informative)

In opera, at least, I can change my preferences to mimik IE 6.0 or 5.0. Try that if you have it. I thought there was something like this in mozilla, guess not. oh, you also can't d/l attachments with an 'incompatible' browser. Makes no sense - everything works fine when I set opera to indentify itself as MSIE 6.0 but... oh well.

I could go on-and-on about how retarded, backwards, non-standards compliant this is but... it's microsoft. Go Figure.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:2)

Microsoft doesnt care about standard's compliance to non-microsoft standards.

btw, does anyone know if their is a user-agent spoofing feature in galeon? or when they plan to add one.

• #### I wonder if the MS web site accepts Space Bison? (Score:3, Informative)

Proxomitron [proxomitron.org], the ad blocker software, can identify any browser you have as anything you like. The default is Space Bison. (Unfortunately, I don't think there is a Linux version.)
• #### Re:I wonder if the MS web site accepts Space Bison (Score:3, Informative)

Works fine in wine
• #### Today's star feature: personal information sharing (Score:2, Funny)

...now that's innovation...

...Microsoft® Innovation (TM)

• #### Tried a few with Opera (Score:4, Informative)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:39PM (#3534671) Homepage
Identify as Opera: dont work
Identify as Mozilla 5.0: dont work
Identify as Mozilla 4.76: Works
Identify as Mozilla 3.0: dont work
Identify as MSIE 5.0: Works(duh!)

Yet, in Opera, all the pages are rendered the same way, and all pages in hotmail work fine in Opera assuming you identify it as a 'preferred browser'. So, its not a functionality issue, just a "use our damn browser or else" issue. A DDoS attack from MSN to non-IE users? hehe
• #### It's really about MS Passport (Score:2, Interesting)

I had to change my Opera identity to get it to let me in. Looks like one of those ad hoc "version check" things that makes presumptions about the capabilities of your browser.

Having said this, this has more to do with Microsoft Passport than Microsoft. I've actually been evaluating Passport as an optional authentication method on a current project, and one of the features that it offers is that upon authentication partners can get the basic user information (such as what they state on their site when you look at what "other registration info lists") for the purpose of making it easier for the user to complete orders, etc. It's unfortunate that they hijacked Hotmail to begin this, and the preference should start and not (perhaps even terminating your account if you refuse to allow it, but certainly not automatically doing it), however that's the whole purpose of Passport : To give users one username and password, and to allow them an easier experience on the net. You can see the details at http://www.microsoft.com/myservices/passport/overv iew.asp [microsoft.com]. The same sort of idea is going to hold true with the Liberty Alliance system as well.
• #### Re:You think that's bad? (Score:5, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 17, 2002 @06:01AM (#3535867)
I'll do you even one more better.

I just turned those options off, then signed out. I logged back in to see if they had taken effect and found that -every- time you go into options, those boxes are automatically checked.

So beware, any time you change/view your options you need to uncheck the boxes again...
• #### and here's from mozilla (Score:2, Interesting)

Browser Not Supported

Microsoft® .NET Passport no longer supports the Web browser version you are using. Please upgrade to a current Web browser, such as Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later, or Netscape Navigator version 4.08 or later.

Great, now MS 0wnz m3 and my little browser, too.
• #### Re:and here's from mozilla (Score:2, Redundant)

Yeah, I got that response with Konqueror. I hope it means that, unless I get IE 4.0 or later, I won't receive any spam anymore.
• #### Re:and here's from mozilla (Score:2, Insightful)

Oh yeah you think thats bad, look at this. I tried to change the profile and when i unchecked the boxes, this is the error message i got:

First Name
Andrew
Your lastname contains a word or phrase that has been reserved or is prohibited for .NET Passport
registration. Please type a different lastname.
Last Name
Bugg

I am really glad i can't use my own damned last name with .net, its so advanced and user friendly.

A Bugg

Anyone want to hazard a guess why M$prohibits the use of the worde "bug" on its network? • #### Re:and here's from mozilla (Score:4, Funny) on Friday May 17, 2002 @12:20AM (#3534882) Homepage I'm surprised you haven't realized this by now, but you're a Feature, not a Bugg. Best sign in properly next time, hmm? • #### Surprise! (Score:5, Insightful) on Thursday May 16, 2002 @10:40PM (#3534307) And this is surprising, how? I mean, come on, this is Micro$oft we are talking about here... marketing, marketing, marketing!

Besides, Yahoo led the way, did they not? I would not be surprised to find out that Microsoft watched that whole Yahoo business very closely, and saw the complete lack of any outcry as a "green light" to go forward with this.

• #### Re:Surprise! (Score:2, Interesting)

What's it going to take? Anyone for a class-action lawsuit against both Yahoo and Microsoft?
• #### Re:Surprise! (Score:2, Insightful)

Well, there's outcry and there's outcry.

I had been using Yahoo email for a long time, and was planning to pay for the service since it was useful. Because of their change, I sent a letter to Yahoo indicating why I would not pay for the service, and am now using a new address.

My yahoo address is still open, however, so I can catch the stragglers that haven't caught up yet. So from a superficial (number of users pov), yes, it appears that this didn't affect their business, but what you don't know is how many people like me changed their mind about paying for the service, or the trust that they had placed in Yahoo.

• #### Riddle me this... (3 of 4 accounts affected) (Score:3, Informative)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:22PM (#3534577)

OK, I've got four HotMail accounts. For the first three, the options had been changed and I reset them to opt-out. When I got to the fourth account, which I set up about three weeks ago and have NEVER sent a message from, my options indicated that none of my info was to be public. However, there were 171 SPAMs waiting for me, starting just a few hours after the "Welcome to HotMail" message. Apparently, they released my new e-mail address to the wild the instant it was created, making any decision of mine to opt-out a moot point. Once it's out there, you're screwed.
• #### !There is another explaination! (Score:3, Insightful)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:22PM (#3534578) Homepage Journal
So much for Microsoft and its smarts. Either the policy is wrong or Microsoft was wrong to pre-check the boxes to share information -- both cannot be right.
As a database programmer I know it's totally possible for checkboxes to display information contrary to what the real database has stored. Imagine that a given field is supposed to contain the values 0 or 1. 0 means no and 1 means yes. It's quite possible for a NULL value on a new field to be rendered as yes, even though nothing has been decided yet. If X == 0 then no else yes. There.
• #### Re:!There is another explaination! (Score:2)

Unless they're really weird there is no reason to store a NULL (most used to represent missing or unknown information) on a bi-state tick box which they know the answer to as all users have been through that screen at some point.
• #### DoS: Everyone sign up for a dozen hotmail accounts (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:31PM (#3534614) Homepage
Everyone sign up for a dozen hotmail accounts and effectively posion they're market data. If companies find out 50% of the email addresses on hotmail.com are false then they'll pay MS less money to host _more_ addresses.

I hate to be the one to call for this, however it's just as legal as what they're doing. It's no the moral thing to do but it is legal. It's time to do something all you little /. trolls.
• #### Use Hotmail as a Spam Trap (Score:5, Interesting)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:31PM (#3534616)
I have on old hotmail account that gets 100+ pieces of spam a day, and I no longer recieve any personal email to that account. What I've done, is I use Gotmail [freshmeat.net] to download all the email, then pipe it to Razor [sourceforge.net]. I do this every day from a cron job. If every slashdot user set up a hotmail account with a phony name, and ALLOWED the spam to come by not changing thier preferences, this would be a pretty good way to keep Razor, or whatever other spam reporting service you are using current.

I say bring em' on! I'm happy to waste MS's bandwith, and glad to help keep the spam databases current, so those of us running Spamassassin [spamassassin.org] can keep our real email accounts clean.
• #### Why use Hotmail anyway? (Score:5, Informative)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:31PM (#3534617)
Why are people still using Hotmail?

It's got to be the worst free email service on the Net when it comes to reliability, security, spam and superfluous fluff associated with your mail.

When I discovered how much simpler and cleaner YahooMail was I ditched my HotMail account and never regretted it for a moment.

Okay, Yahoo may still change your marketing preferences, but at least they had the decency to let you know about it and give you a chance to reverse the changes before adding you to a long list of lists.

However, the best thing of all about YahooMail is that I get an incredibly small amount of spam arriving in my yahoomail email box.

Either their spam filtering is far more effective, or spammers consider Hotmail user to be dumber (and therefore more likely to believe that you can earn $50,000 a month stuffing envelopes). I also get a 6MB mailbox for free (perhaps because I was an early adopter -- I don't think they're quite as generous for new signups) and the service seems very reliable. With my Javascript turned off I don't even see the pop-up ads that can be such a PITA when browsing Yahoo's properties. Yahoo may be far from perfect but it's a whole lot better than Hotmail that's an absolute undeniable fact. • #### ...Continue Using Hotmail... (Score:2, Interesting) ...That's the value of the button on the Browser Limitations page when I log in... My browser reports the user agent as Space Bison. I'm actually using IE 6, but my proxy [proxomitron [proxomitron.org]] reports whatever I want, though that's the default. I had no problem updating my |options|personal profile. If the page is actually detecting my browser by sniffing DOM objects and specially allowing me, I'd be surprised, but if you MOZ/Konq/Opera users are actually blocked from updating that would really suck. The whole trick sucks, but M$ isn't the first (yahoo betrayed me some time ago). My demographic info is probably all over the place, but in both cases they've only managed to poison their databases. All the info I gave them was spoofed, except for the hotmail address, which I mainly use as a spam-sink anyway.
So, I guess that's my moral to the story... don't just use these services... USE them. Everyone that asks for your demographic info is giving you the opportunity to make ALL of that database less valid and less useful. This really is an opportunity.

• #### They Changed my State and Zip, Too! (Score:2, Interesting)

I moved not long ago and never changed my profile. But my profile now shows my new state and zip! My GF's Hotmail account profile was changed likewise, and she never changed her profile, too!

• #### People don't trust Microsoft... (Score:2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward
...because of some stupid little thing like this?

Not because Windows XP forces you to call Microsoft to "register" it if you buy a new motherboard?

Not because Outlook and Outlook Express open attachments and install viruses, worms, and trojans FOR you?

Not because Microsoft voids your software's license because you "installed it too many times"?

Not because Media Player was shipped with spyware in it?

Not because Microsoft is forcing ridiculous licensing schemes onto educational institutions?

Not because Microsoft treats their users like babies and thinks that they know better than you what you want to do with your computer?

Not because they got rid of Clippy from MS Office?

Not because they bullied OEMs to install ONLY Microsoft operating environments?

Good grief... If THIS is what it takes to drive people over the edge, they shoulda went with writing a new "we 0wNz your house, car, wife, and kids" clause in their EULA.
• #### Shouldn't that be.... (Score:5, Funny)

on Thursday May 16, 2002 @11:45PM (#3534712) Homepage
(If you're a user, login, go to Options > Personal Profile, and un-check the boxes at the bottom of that page.)

"If you're a user, then the preference to change is your email provider."

-Restil
• #### in which I attempt to delete my hotmail account... (Score:5, Informative)

on Friday May 17, 2002 @12:04AM (#3534818)

I obfuscated the names because I have nothing against the people who responded (or didn't respond, depending on your point of view) to my request. Their replies were slightly mechanistic, and it is clear (to me, yvmv) that Microsoft has no intention of giving up the information I provided to open my hotmail account. But I planned for this day, so any junk mail Microsoft may have signed "me" up for, using the name and address I generously provided, is being forwarded to the dead letters office in Leesville, Louisiana. Yeeha.

This latest move comes as no surprise, really. I can't imagine Redmond respects my privacy any more than Yahoo!, Egghead, or any one of a dozen other defunct dot coms...

===== BEGIN =====

Excellent. That is exactly what I wanted to hear. I intend to close my account presently. I will attempt to log in to hotmail in 100 days. If that attempt succeeds, I will contact you then.

From: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
To:
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 20:23:03 -0800

Hello mephistopheles51@hotmail.com,
Thank you for writing to Microsoft .NET Passport.
In response to your inquiry, I would just like to reiterate that your Hotmail account is an automatic Passport account as well. Therefore, if you close your Hotmail account, your Passport account will also be cancelled.

Sincerely,
Pi.
Microsoft .NET Passport Customer Support Representative

--- Original Message ---
From: mephistopheles51@hotmail.com
To: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
Sent: Tue Feb 26 19:40:25 PST 2002
Subject: RE: RE: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account

Finally, someone actually *read* my question. After receiving the exact same response twice in a row I was becoming concerned that there was no human being on the other end of the computer at all, but a machine, which was parsing the question and appending the appropriate "solution". To rephrase your reply: if I close my hotmail account, and DO NOT USE MY PASSPORT FOR 90 DAYS, all information provided to or collected by Microsoft will be automatically deleted, including any information provided to marketers, advertisers, or any of Microsoft's "partners". If you respond affirmatively, I will close my hotmail account and expect that the non-public information provided to Microsoft by me will be deleted as above, following 90 days of inactivity. If you must respond negatively, please forward my question to someone who will guarantee that the non-public information provided to Microsoft by me will be deleted as above, or who will state, for the record, that it simply cannot (or will not) be done prior to responding. I should like a name in the latter case. In either case, if I have not heard from a representative of hotmail or passport in three days, I will take this matter up again. I eagerly await your reply.

Thank you.

>From: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
>To:
>Subject: RE: RE: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
>Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 23:02:00 -0800
>
>Hello Mephistopheles51,
> Thank you for writing to Microsoft .NET Passport.
> Regarding your inquiry, Email services of Hotmail Passport IDs are
>automatically deactivated after 30 days of inactivity. After such time,
>your Hotmail Passport will cease to be an email account but you can still
>continue using the ID on other Participating Passport sites.
> Should you wish to have your Passport ID purged from our system, please
>refrain from accessing the account for 90 days. Accounts are automatically
>removed from our system only after the specified period of inactivity.
> I hope I was able to answer your question, if you have other inquiries,
>please do not hesitate to write us back.
>
>
>
>Sincerely,
>
>
>Je.
>Microsoft .NET Passport Customer Support Representative
>

>--- Original Message ---
>From: mephistopheles51@hotmail.com
>To: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
>Sent: Mon Feb 25 19:00:23 PST 2002
>Subject: RE: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
>
>I'm afraid you don't understand, as previously explained.
> I want to delete my "passport", thereby deleting all information provided to
>or collected by Microsoft, and not just my hotmail account. As indicated by
>the recent memorandum from Bill Gates, it appears Microsoft has finally
>realized that it must earn users' trust. This is a step in the right
>direction. Users are not a cash machine for any corporation that decides to
>abuse its monopoly status for the benefit of the marketing and advertising
>departments of its many "partners".
> However, the recent attacks on hotmail, and the vulnerabilities in
>Microsoft's ".net" and "passport" services have convinced me that none of
>the information I provided to Microsoft is truly secure, not even my name,
>address, or IP, and that Microsoft cannot be trusted not to use the
>information provided or collected for its own gain, and to my detriment.
>Therefore, I would like to delete all information I provided to Microsoft,
>or which has been collected by Microsoft about me, in its entirety.
> Please tell me how to do that, or direct my inquiry to someone who can.
>Merely deleting my hotmail account simply will not suffice. Thank you.

> >From: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
> >To:
> >Subject: RE: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
> >Date: Fri, 22 Feb 2002 19:21:11 -0800
> >
> >Hello Mephistopheles51,
> >
> >
> >Thank you for writing back to Microsoft .NET Passport.
> >
> >With regard to your concern, please be guided on the procedures of deleting
> >
> > >>> To close your Hotmail account
> >
> >1. In the upper right corner of any Hotmail page, click "Help".
> >
> >2. In the MSN Hotmail Help window, click "Find", type "Close account", and
> >then click "Go".
> >
> >3. In the search results, click the "Close your Hotmail account" link. 4.
> >
> >You can also close your Hotmail account by not signing in to the account
> >for 30 days or within the first 10 days after you set up your account.
> >Hotmail then marks your account as "Inactive", your stored messages are
> >permanently deleted, and inbound messages are returned to the sender. You
> >can reactivate your account by going to the sign-in page and typing your
> >sign-in name and password. If your account remains "Inactive" for 90 days,
> >Hotmail permanently deletes it. You cannot reactivate your deleted account
> >because it has been completely removed from our system. You must register
> >for a new one.
> >
> >to Hotmail or any other .NET Passport site (such as Messenger or eShop) for
> >which you use your user@hotmail.com .NET Passport for a full 90 days. In
> >is also closed.
> > Microsoft .NET Passport has comprehensive online help available to you.
> >.NET Passport features, click the Help link on a Microsoft .NET Passport
> >web page. When the help window opens, click the appropriate topic, or click
> >the All Topics link at the top of the help window for a categorized list of
> >all Microsoft .NET Passport help topics.
> >
> >Thank you for using Microsoft .NET Passport. If you have further questions,
> >
> >
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >
> >Lo.
> >Microsoft .NET Passport Customer Support Representative
> >

> >--- Original Message ---
> >From: mephistopheles51@hotmail.com
> >To: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
>
> >Sent: Fri Feb 22 17:35:47 PST 2002
> >Subject: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
> >
> >I'm afraid you don't understand. I want to delete my "passport". Microsoft
> >simply cannot be trusted with the information I provided, and cannot be
> >trusted not to attempt to collect more and more associative information to
> >be sold to its marketing and advertising "partners". I do not want any
> >information I provided to Microsoft to exist on Microsoft's servers at all.
> > The help page simply states that I will be closing my hotmail account, and
> >that after 90 days my hotmail account will be deleted, but that deletion of
> >my hotmail account will not affect my passport, and that I may reactivate my
> >hotmail account at any time within 90 days simply by signing in to hotmail.
> >This is not acceptable.
> > Please direct me to a link that will allow me to delete my passport, thus
> >removing all passport information collected by Microsoft.
> > As an aside, why do hotmail.msn.com, passport.com, and msn.com need 14
> >cookies between them? Don't you find that a little excessive? I certainly do.
> > Thank you!

> > >From: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
>
> > >To:
> > >Subject: RE: CST60498798ID - delete my account
> > >Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 19:31:37 -0800
> > >
> > >Hello mephistopheles51,
> > >
> > >Thank you for writing to Microsoft .NET Passport.
> > > In response to your concern, I have provided below the procedure on how
> > >to delete your mephistopheles51@hotmail.com .NET Passport account.
> > > >>> To close your Hotmail account
> > > 1. In the upper right corner of any Hotmail page, click "Help".
> > > 2. In the MSN Hotmail Help window, click "Find", type "Close account",
> > >and then click "Go".
> > > 3. In the search results, click the "Close your Hotmail account" link.
> >4.
> > > You can also close your Hotmail account by not signing in to the account
> > >for 30 days or within the first 10 days after you set up your account.
> > >Hotmail then marks your account as "Inactive", your stored messages are
> > >permanently deleted, and inbound messages are returned to the sender. You
> > >can reactivate your account by going to the sign-in page and typing your
> > >sign-in name and password. If your account remains "Inactive" for 90 days,
> > >Hotmail permanently deletes it. You cannot reactivate your deleted account
> > >because it has been completely removed from our system. You must register
> > >for a new one.
> > > Note: If you want to permanently close your Hotmail account, do not sign
> > >in to Hotmail or any other .NET Passport site (such as Messenger or eShop)
> > >for which you use your user@hotmail.com .NET Passport for a full 90 days.
> > >Passport is also closed.
> > > Microsoft .NET Passport has comprehensive online help available to you.
> > >.NET Passport features, click the Help link on a Microsoft .NET Passport
> > >web page. When the help window opens, click the appropriate topic, or click
> > >the All Topics link at the top of the help window for a categorized list of
> > >all Microsoft .NET Passport help topics.
> > >
> > >Thank you for using Microsoft .NET Passport. If you have further questions,
> > >
> > >
> > >Sincerely,
> > >
> > >Ed.
> > >Microsoft .NET Passport Customer Support Representative
> > >

> > >--- Original Message ---
> > >From: no@alternate.com
> > >To: "Microsoft .NET Passport Support"
> >
> > >Sent: Tue Feb 19 18:51:42 PST 2002
> > >Subject: delete my account
> > >
> > >CustomerName : don't need don't need
> > >UpdateCountry : false, false
> > >CUBirthdate : don't need
> > >BrowserVersion : don't need
> > >OperatingSystem : don't need
> > >ErrorMessage : n/a
> > >Submit : Send
> > >Country : US
> > >FirstName : don't need
> > >LastName : don't need
> > >Region : 19283
> > >PostalCode : don't need
> > >Comments : you don't need any of this information to delete my account
> > >RIGHT NOW.
> >
> >Don't Believe the Hype!*
> >*and it's all hype...

• #### Straining the limits of analogy... (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday May 17, 2002 @01:01AM (#3535042)
Watching Microsoft deal with "consumers" is like being an orderly in the coma ward, and walking in on the head physician while he's raping unconscious patients in their hospital beds.

Of course, some people will respond that I'm exaggerating. I'll probably even get modded as Flamebait or Troll. And indeed, it really is hard to state the case against Micro$oft without sounding like a zealot, because the accusations are simply so hair-raising, it's hard for the uninitiated to believe that they're all true (this is, in fact, what I used to think about the Church of$cientology). Judge Jackson should not have shot his mouth off the way he did, but who could blame the man, he probably just couldn't help himself. The awful fact is that M$is one of the most appalling corporate gangsters in all of history. • #### It's a free service... (Score:5, Interesting) on Friday May 17, 2002 @03:27AM (#3535519) Homepage Let me get this straight: - It's totally free - They provide a huge pile of hardware, software and people to keep up the site and datastores. - They don't want money in return - Everything but the sun costs money So you people think that MS is a philantropic organisation? ALWAYS ask yourself when something is 'free' and the provider of the service has to spent a lot of money to give you this service for 'free': "Where's the catch?". I find this moaning about Hotmail rather silly, if you ask me. If you don't like it, get a real ISP account. Yes that costs money, start wondering where that money's for. • #### Legality in the UK (Score:5, Informative) on Friday May 17, 2002 @04:27AM (#3535673) Homepage I believe that if MS has pulled this stunt on its UK based customers, that it is liable for a £500 fine for every customer that files a complaint with the Data Protection Registrar (which if everyone did, would probably for a few hundred million sterling, or half a billion US$).

In the UK we have an act called the 'Data Protection Act' which means any companies doing business in the UK are *obliged* to require our permission to do anything outside their company with our personal data we provide to them, and breaking these rules can be swiftly and harshly punished. In extreme cases, it can result in a business being shut down entirely.

Other fringe benefits include the right to demand a company never contacts you again, and the right to demand to see *all* information a company holds about you, so you can correct this information if it is incorrect.

on Friday May 17, 2002 @06:18AM (#3535895)

I was just logging out after turning off those options that had magically been turned on when I noticed this URL go by in the address bar