Major PC manufacturers have rebelled against Intel?s wishes, saying they will disable the new ID feature in forthcoming Pentium III processors.
The feature, which Intel has included in its new chip, has caused consternation amongst various privacy groups which are worried the chip maker will use the technology to track users on the Internet.
The PC makers, which include IBM, Compaq, Gateway and Dell, have now all confirmed that they will ship their new machines with the feature disabled in the system Bios rather than the software.
Intel had originally asked that the PC makers ship their new systems with the processor ID feature switched on in both the Bios and software utility switch.
Back in January, caving into pressure from privacy groups worldwide, Intel had agreed to switch the technology default to off, rather than on.
However, the groups said that following a meeting with Intel at the end of January, the company had admitted that it had not changed the chip at all and that any actual change would depend on the implementation by PC manufacturers.
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre said that despite the PC makers? announcement, the groups would continue their opposition to the sale of the Pentium III chip until, ?Intel removes the step in its manufacturing process that burns the number into the Pentium III chips.?
He said the groups had also written to the chief executives of five major PC manufacturers urging them to order and immediate suspension of all products containing the new chips.
At the same time, Intel is gearing up towards the government?s anti-trust case against it, which begins in two weeks.
In the suit, which was filed last summer, the FTC alleges that Intel used its market power to prevent Digital, Compaq and workstation manufacturer Intergraph from gaining access to technical information needed to design systems based on Intel?s processors.
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