Lawmakers peruse privacy tools

In its fifth hearing on privacy, the House Subcommittee on Commerce Trade and Consumer Protection heard from companies including Microsoft, which is building privacy features into its upcoming browser, Internet Explorer 6.0.

Microsoft on June 25, will make publicly available a beta version of IE6 at

The company is pushing privacy as a major lynchpin of WindowsXP, due out October 25.

IE6 privacy enhancements are designed to let consumers set browser settings to alert them to the privacy policies used at visited corporate sites.

Michael Wallent, IE product unit manager at the Thursday hearing, said privacy could begin to register more with the average user -- especially given the fact that privacy is so key to Windows XP, which Microsoft will promote with as much or more marketing dollars as it pumped into its Windows 95 campaign.

Representative Diana DeGette stressed the importance of public awareness around the privacy issue.

"Consumers must understand the vagaries of privacy policies and technologies that are now being deployed," she said.

Other companies presenting before the subcommittee in its hearing on privacy and industry best practices included Webwasher, SafeWeb, and Reciprocal.

Lawmakers at the hearing acknowledged the momentum around the emerging privacy-related technology area but asked vendors for feedback on whether there is a pressing need for privacy legislation.

"We are leaving the era of Big Brother and entering the era of Big Browser. No longer are people so worried about what the government can do, but what Corporate America can do," quipped Rep. Edward Markey.

Stephen Hsu, CEO of SafeWeb, said privacy legislation called federal privacy legislation "inevitable" since industry is sharpening its ability to store transmit and use data.

"We are just at the beginning," Hsu said, who like other vendors at the hearing advised lawmakers not to rush their efforts to regulate privacy.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Jones

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?