· US Advertising Industry Strengthens Privacy Standards. Microsoft joined a group of trade associations in announcing a new set of stronger set of “Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising,” as reported in The New York Times. Microsoft already complies with many of the new principals as, Microsoft's Privacy Principles for Live Search and Online Ad Targeting are here.
· BT Drops Plans to Use Phorm. British Telecomm became the latest Internet company to step back from using Phorm, a company that supplies behavioral advertising to ISPs. The program has generated controversy in the privacy community. The Associated Press reports that “Two other U.K. broadband providers, Virgin Media ( VMED - news - people ) and TalkTalk, have expressed interest in Phorm's system but have no immediate plans to adopt it.”
· Research Shows Vulnerability in Relying on Social Security Numbers. Two researchers from Carnegie Mellon University published a paper called “Predicting Social Security Numbers from Public Data,” showing they could guess an individual’s SSN about 40% of the time using information like birthday and hometown. The Wall Street Journal goes on to suggest, “How Social-Networking Sites Can Reveal Your Social Security Number.” Microsoft has advocated for replacing reliance on “shared secrets” that in a web 2.0 world aren’t so secret – and instead working to build “End to End Trust.”
· Federal Judge: IP Addresses Are Not PII. A Federal Judge in Seattle has ruled that an Internet Protocol (IP) does not constitute “personally identifiable information” because it identifies a computer, not a person, Media Daily Reports. Last year, the EU said that search engines should expunge users' IP addresses as soon as possible.