Jay Cross
Jay Cross

New blog
Links & more

Subscribe with Bloglines
Enter your email address to subscribe to Internet Time Blog.

Life's Too Short
Sunday, June 12, 2005
A long time ago I signed up for a Microsoft Passport account which I used only to look at one friend's discussion group. Today I received an email notification that new content had been posted to that group. I clicked the follow-on link.

Something new: I was asked to sign in to MSN Groups. I entered my MS Passport info. The system rejected it. Even though Passport was touted as a single sign-on solution, Microsoft wanted me to sign up anew.

Why? To get more information about me. To create an MSN Account, Microsoft wants my birthdate, gender, industry, occupation, job title, marital status, and whether I have children, in addition to the country, state, and zip code of my home! Since I refuse to hand this over, I can only imagine what they ask for on page 2.

Atop the sign-up form, it reads "Microsoft respects your privacy. Learn more about privacy.

Despite the comforting logo, Microsoft appears to want to violate my privacy bigtime. Quote:
  • The information we collect may be combined with information obtained from other Microsoft services and other companies.
  • We use cookies and other technologies to keep track of your interactions with our sites and services to offer a personalized experience.
  • We use the information we collect to provide the services you request. Our services may include the display of personalized content and advertising.
  • We use your information to inform you of other products or services offered by Microsoft and its affiliates, and to send you relevant survey invitations related to MSN services.
  • We do not sell, rent, or lease our customer lists to third parties. In order to help provide our services, we occasionally provide information to other companies who work on our behalf.
Microsoft wants permission to combine my information with information from any other source.

Microsoft may display my personal information and may target ads at me based on that information.

Microsoft reserves the right to spam me on new services from Microsoft "and its affiliates."

Microsoft will neither sell nor lease my information but they will provide it to others. I presume Microsoft may barter my information at will.

Scoble's blog and other olive branches had me thinking that Microsoft had become, well, softer. I'm not a Linux fanatic or knee-jerk Microsoft hater.

I was wrong. These tactics are sneaky. Disceptive. A crappy way to treat your customers. (Will they create a profile from the articles you read on Slate? Track my buying habits from software registrations?) It's back to square one: I don't trust Redmond any more.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more.


Blogger Harold Jarche said...

The bigger they are, the slower they learn.

2:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

About Us | Contact Us | Home |

Powered by Blogger

Copyright 2005, Internet Time Group, Berkeley, California