A privacy group, which alleges that Microsoft's Passport privacy and security risks violate state consumer laws, has sent an open letter to all 50 US state Attorneys General urging them to protect consumers against unfair and deceptive practices.
The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (Epic) has claimed that prior attempts to get the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the technology had failed, and that it had decided to ask the Attorneys General to investigate.
Epic alleges that Passport, which Microsoft claims has more than 200 million users, allows an "unprecedented profiling of individuals' browsing and online shopping behaviour".
Launched in 1999, Passport was designed to simplify web transactions by allowing consumers to store passwords, credit card numbers and other personal information in one location.
Chris Hoofnagle, Epic's legislative counsel, expected many states to look into the matter as they have often taken a more aggressive approach to privacy matters. He said that Minnesota, California and New York have been leading advocates for privacy.
"We mentioned California because they have among the strongest statutes for consumer protection," he explained.
The group also claimed that consumers, who have been assured by Microsoft that the Passport service is secure, are still open to numerous privacy and security risks from alleged security holes in the Passport and Wallet systems.
Hoofnagle further stated that, because it has been shown that Passport has some security flaws, Microsoft's claim that all information is private and secure is a deceptive business practice and the company should stop making such assertions.
Microsoft was unavailable for comment, but has vehemently denied the allegations and said that Passport is convenient for users.
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