John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Microsoft Privacy Chief Announces Windows Cognitive Impairment

Microsoft seems to be suffering from a bit of institutional memory loss. How else to explain the company’s recent pot-to-kettle slagging of Google’s approach to privacy? “Google’s a great company, got some great products, but you know, in some respects, I think Google is where Microsoft was seven or ten years ago,” Peter Cullen, Microsoft’s chief privacy strategist, told ZDNet. “Microsoft has over 40 full-time people invested in privacy and over 400 part-time people. Google hasn’t–at least from what I read about them–evolved to that.”

Perhaps, perhaps not. But Microsoft’s record on privacy isn’t exactly untarnished–at least from what I’ve read about them. And that makes Cullen’s comment more than a bit ironic.

Surely we haven’t forgotten the privacy firestorm that erupted around Microsoft’s .NET Passport system back in 2002. There was an FTC investigation and enforcement action and a European Commission probe as well. And who could forget Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), the anti-piracy program that phoned home to Microsoft every time a user rebooted his or her PC? And while it made headlines about a decade ago, the company’s Windows Registration Wizard, which was caught transmitting all manner of personally identifiable information to Microsoft, is still likely to redden a face or two in Redmond.

So maybe Google (GOOG) doesn’t have 400 part-time people working on privacy. But is it really where Microsoft (MSFT) was seven or ten years ago? Really?

Twitter’s Tanking

December 30, 2013 at 6:49 am PT

2013 Was a Good Year for Chromebooks

December 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm PT

BlackBerry Pulls Latest Twitter for BB10 Update

December 29, 2013 at 5:58 am PT

Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm PT

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald