Microsoft's Passport Comes Under Renewed Fire From Privacy Group

Microsoft is under renewed fire from a privacy group called the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) over Passport. Passport is Microsoftis service that is supposed to make it easier for users to register for multiple sites by keeping their personal information on Microsoftis oh-so-secure servers. Passport is largely a precursor to Hailstorm, Microsoftis even more grandiose service that will keep personal, medical, and credit information on those same servers. For the record, those servers will be running Windows, the most insecure and exploited operating system on the planet. EPIC is seeking to get state attorneys general to investigate Passport for deceptive trade practices after having failed to get the Bush Administrationis FTC to take a gander. From an Infoworld article:

Saying that prior attempts to get the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the technology have failed, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) decided to appeal to state attorneys general, asking them to use state laws to investigate Passport and Microsoftis related Web-based services, including Kids Passport, Hailstorm, electronic wallet, and other .Net services.

"These systems unfairly and deceptively gather personal information and expose consumers to the release, sale, and theft of their personal information," EPIC wrote in the letters due to be sent Tuesday. "Immediate state action is necessary to protect consumers and ensure Microsoft does not continue to improperly collect personal information."

The move is just the latest salvo against Passport, which has come under increasing scrutiny by opponents who claim that the service is a means for the software maker to collect, store and sell usersi personal information.

Microsoft vehemently denies these allegations, however, saying that Passportis purpose is merely to provide a convenience to users. Once a user signs up for the authentication service, it allows them to access a number of Web sites without having to re-enter their personal information.

There is some additional information in the full article.