First Yahoo, Now MSN

With some $50 billion in the bank, you'd think that Microsoft wouldn't have to resort to the dirty tactics that we've seen from dot-coms like Yahoo when it comes to customers' privacy. You may remember when we posted an article a few weeks back detailing how Yahoo had "revised" their privacy settings for their users and automatically opted in all their users, volunteering them to receive spam, unsolicited phone calls, and junk mail.

Well, Hotmail, which is part of the Microsoft Network, added several privacy options to their accounts. They are "Share my e-mail address," "Share my first and last names," and "Share my other registration information." The last includes everything from a person's gender, date of birth, etc. Then, the good folks at MSN took the liberty of "pre-checking" the options for anyone with a Hotmail account, naturally assuming that this is the kind of information we want shared. Just to rub salt in the wound, they tried to sneak this under the radar, so to speak, by not announcing the change to their privacy policy.

Well, it would seem that "free e-mail accounts for life" appear somewhere in a long list of bad ideas.

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