Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Privacy Advocate Snoops, Too but TRUSTe Kicks out Nosy Cookies

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Privacy Advocate Snoops, Too but TRUSTe Kicks out Nosy Cookies

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- TRUSTe, a privacy advocate organization that runs a privacy seal-of-approval program for retail Web sites and shows companies how to write effective privacy policies, itself has tracked users with means not mentioned in its own privacy policy, a security group says.

Interhack Corp., a Columbus, Ohio, security consulting firm that has found other privacy breaches in the past, noticed that TRUSTe's Web site contained "cookies," small text files used for online tracking and profiling, as well as invisible images and other tools aimed at identifying users' online habits.

The tracking code was removed yesterday afternoon, just after a reporter contacted TRUSTe to inquire about the software.

TRUSTe's Dave Steer said that two weeks ago TRUSTe entered an agreement with the maker of thecounter.com, Internet.com LLC, to monitor its Web site traffic, but the agreement stipulated that thecounter.com wouldn't track personally identifiable information. …

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