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Big search engines getting serious about privacy

Following the lead of Google, Microsoft has announced that it will make all data on search queries anonymous after 18 months. Yahoo is set to outline plans to make search histories anonymous within 13 months. Last week, said users could ask them not to retain their Web searches at all. Google, which faces the most scrutiny, said last week that it would shorten the lifespan of its cookies.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is holding a hearing on privacy and security risks posed by peer-to-peer file-sharing programs. This week’s hearing is likely to reignite debate about the controversial practice of online file-sharing. Some online security experts believe users of peer-to-peer file-sharing software may unwittingly provide unauthorized access to personal financial information or even classified government documents. Others claim that spyware and viruses encountered through regular Web browsing pose a far greater threat.

The new Apple iPhone apparently has a security flaw that lets hackers turn the fancy phone into a  remote controlled zombie. The New York Times is reporting that a team of security consultants showed its reporter how to take control of the iPhone remotely. Apple says it is looking into the issue.

According to, a security hole in the Fox News web server has exposed sensitive content to the public, including login information that allowed hackers to access names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least 1.5 million people. According to the report, an FTP server belonging to the Ziff-Davis publishing company could be accessed with a user name and password found on the Fox News site.