Rapid growth of the Internet and electronic commerce has sparked an increase in concerns over individual's rights and privacy issues, according to the UK Data Protection office.
David Smith, assistant Data Protection registrar, said that he had noticed a definite increase in the amount of Internet related issues the office has to deal with and an increase in the number of complaints, particularly concerning electronic commerce.
"The Internet has increased users awareness of privacy issues and raised some concerns," he said.
He added that his department had been looking into whether Microsoft was violating UK Data Protection laws by collecting user's hardware details during the Windows 98 registration process.
Customers were supposed to be able to choose whether they used the feature, but early last month it was discovered that it collected the information anyway, without users' consent.
Smith said the Data Protection Office was currently satisfied that Microsoft had addressed any privacy concerns.
"It is clear to us that steps have been taken to control the use of identifiers. Unless we receive any further complaints, we won't take any further action," he said.
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