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Doug's Mailbag: Video Game and GPS Privacy

Here are a few responses to the PlayStation Network outage:

This is one instance in which you should ask Sony why it wanted so much user data. For all we know it could have been an inside job. Will the Feds hold Sony accountable? If not, will any organization like this be held responsible for collecting this information and then losing it?

Sony should be made to pay for its lack in securing the data it collects. I'm certain it has the resources to ensure the security... But apparently it wasn't a priority. Profit usually is. It made money off the information it collected or else why would it need it?

Now with regards to your son's single game going on for hours, be a parent and end the game for him. Pulling the electrical cord should get his attention real quick. Set a time limit and stick to it. If there are no consequences for disobedience, why should the kids change?
-Les

You mentioned that your son has an Xbox. My friend's son has an Xbox with a Kinect, and plays Xbox Live games with a friend who has the same setup. After a recent game, Boy A exited the system and turned off the TV. I don't know what steps he used to exit, but the Kinect does not have a power switch to turn it off. Sometime after the game, the parents of Boy B heard a personal dicussion between the parents of Boy A via the Kinect. Have you heard of this, and what is the best way to disconnect the Xbox? Thanks.
-Anonymous

Readers chime in on their thoughts to the news that TomTom provided user data to the police:

Speed doesn't trap -- it kills! Why can't people wake up to the fact that speeding is breaking the law? Why is it OK to speed? Because everyone does it. Because we can handle it. Because we know what we are doing. Now put kids in the car, watching mom speed -- breaking the law. But everyone does it, so it's OK. And mom hasn't had an accident in the last year. So kid goes to school, is offered some pills, and its OK because everyone does it. Because they can handle it. Because it's just like speeding -- not a big deal! Speeders aren't criminals...or are they?!
-Bruce

TomTom just lost a potential customer. I'm in the market for a new GPS and I won't be shopping the TomTom brand. Although I wouldn't mind sometimes sharing my GPS data with the factory, the company should be forthright with what exactly the plan is to share it, then only keep the data around for a limited time. I've seen other companies get bought -- or worse, go bankrupt -- and the customer data sold to the highest bidder.

I trust Microsoft the most with my data. I may be naive but I can't recall the last time any publication wrote about Microsoft abusing its customer data.
-Tim

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to dbarney@redmondmag.com. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted by Doug Barney on 05/09/2011 at 1:18 PM


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