The Register: Netscape is being cheeky

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From: Jim Whitehead (
Date: Wed Jul 19 2000 - 10:56:29 PDT

So just how guilty is Netscape?
By: Kieren McCarthy
Posted: 12/07/2000 at 15:31 GMT

Since we posted the story that a case had been brought against AOL for
infringing consumers' privacy through its Navigator browser, we have been
inundated with interesting, uninteresting, encouraging and abusive emails.
This then is an attempt to update those interested in the story and give a
rundown on the facts and arguments.

First of all, what's all the fuss about?

The SmartDownload feature in Netscape's Navigator browser (included as an
option since version 4.7) logs user downloads and sends this data to
Netscape. This data includes the file name, the file's server name and the
user's IP address. It may also include the user's email address. A cookie
pointing to this information is also added to the browser. This is all done
without informing the user or asking his/her permission.

German Web site Tecchannel has also discovered today that the same thing
occurs when people use the browser's Search feature.


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