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Got Hotmail? You MUST read this!

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I saw this on an other forum and thought to post it here... Went to check mine and they were checked at yes...

Microsoft Releases Your Personal Hotmail Info

If you have a Hotmail account - or if you've used
Microsoft Passport - for more than a month, there's
something you need to check. Or, more accurately,
uncheck. Quickly.

A small publication known as The Eastside Journal,
based in Bellevue, Washington
, reports that Microsoft has taken, uh, liberties with
your confidential information.

A bit of history. Microsoft bought Hotmail in January
1998. It's still the number-one location for free email:
log on to www.hotmail.com and you can send and
receive email messages at no charge.
Almost 120,000,000 people use the system, worldwide.
A couple of years ago, Microsoft hooked up Hotmail to
its Passport system. Variously known as Microsoft
Passport, Windows Passport, MSN Passport, and/or
.NET Passport, all of the names refer to Microsoft's
giant central database of customer information.

If you want to use Hotmail, you have to sign up for a
Passport - and in so doing you're added to the
Passport database. Microsoft Messenger requires a
Passport, too. Windows XP nags mercilessly, offering
all sorts of goodies to get you to divulge your name,
address, age, phone number, and the like, as grist for
the Passport maw.

If you signed up for Hotmail - or anything else that
uses Passport - more than a couple of months ago,
you may be in for a big surprise. It seems that
Microsoft changed the rules while you weren't looking.
Unilaterally, Microsoft may have granted itself
permission to pass along your personal information to
other companies that use Passport on their Web sites.
The personal information includes your email address,
your birthday, your country and zip code, your gender
and occupation.

Has Microsoft taken liberties with your data? There's
an easy way to check. Go into Hotmail. Click Options
(to the right of the tab that says "Address Book"). Click
Personal Profile (in the upper left corner). Scroll down
to the bottom of the screen and see whether the boxes
marked "Share my e-mail address" and "Share my
other registration information" have been checked.
Those boxes didn't exist when I signed up for Hotmail,
and chances are pretty good they didn't exist when
you signed up for it, either. I certainly never gave
Microsoft permission to hand out my email address -
or my birthday, gender or occupation. I'd rather be
dipped in oil. Yet both of those boxes on my personal
profile were checked. I bet they're checked on your
personal profile, too.

Details are still murky, but it looks like Microsoft added
those two check boxes a couple of months ago, and
did itself a big favor by checking both of them for all of
the Passport holders at the time.
When did Microsoft implement this new policy? Hard
to say. Details should be in the MS privacy statement,
but I couldn't find anything. If you'd like to wade
through Microsoft's privacy statement
http://privacy.msn.com/default.asp#MSNMAIL , strap
on your hip waders - it's 520 lines of dense legalese.
The last two lines of the statement say:

Updated December 2001
(c) 2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved
post #2 of 9
Thanks for the information. I went to hotmail and checked, and the boxes were checked. For all those who are affected, be sure to check the appropriate box when finished making changes and sign out and back in again or the changes will not be made. I have always thought that big, well known companies got that way by treating the public well! Surprise, surprise! How sneaky!
post #3 of 9
Wow! Thanks for the info. Hubby has a hotmail account, so I'm going to be sure to tell him about this.
post #4 of 9
post #5 of 9
I dont know if any of you have Yahoo accounts, but I believe they were doing the same thing, too I know there was an option for marketing preference that were checked by default.
post #6 of 9
Thanks, the boxes were checked on my profile. I hate getting spam!

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just because those boxes are unchecked now, the spam won't ever stop... if you get too much spam, better change adress... until it's filled with crap too... I've got 3 different hotmail addys, and they are all pretty ok with junk mail, but the one for our cats (LOL, yes they have their own email addy ) is really bad, have to be emtying it all the time....
post #8 of 9
Originally posted by Jeanie G.
I have always thought that big, well known companies got that way by treating the public well! Surprise, surprise! How sneaky!
Yes, Jeanie, but this is Micro$oft we're talking about here.

It's funny, because I had noticed an explosion of spam in my box lately, instead of 10 or so a day, I have been getting 50! And I really wondered how some of them seemed to know too much about me - my real name, my birthday, etc. When I got the email from Niina, I checked, and sure enough.......
post #9 of 9
I have a Yahoo account that I haven't even used in more than a year. I remember to log in every so often and empty out the endless stream of trash. I much prefer my private account, as I hardly get any spam.
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