Microsoft to combat Internet fraudsters

London, November 5:

Microsoft is to introduce a sophisticated protection system aimed at preventing online fraud. The company is urging rival companies to adopt a similar technique.

The system, Cardspace, has been developed to counter a major crisis facing computer users, the company said. Unless urgent action is taken, consumers risk fraudsters gaining access to banking and financial data, as computer crime continues to grow. “There has been an erosion of the principles of data protection over the past 10 years,” said Caspar Bowden, chief privacy adviser for Microsoft. “Data storage has become so cheap, there is no incentive to be selective about what we keep and what we discard. It is easier to keep almost everything and that has had a cumulative effect. There is an approaching crisis in data protection.” Microsoft’s announcement about introducing new technology to safeguard individuals’ personal data comes after the news that problems of identity and data theft are reaching crisis levels in this country. Britons were also revealed to be the most spied upon people in the democratic world. Vast databases in which our DNA, health records and other information are being created and are often being accessed illegally.

In its survey, the human rights group Privacy International ranked 36 countries, including the EU.