Privacy groups urge Intel boycott

Privacy groups urge Intel boycott
Tom Foremski
US data privacy groups are threatening to extend a boycott of Pentium III chips from Intel to PC manufacturers that use the chip and its embedded electronic identification number.
The boycott threat was made by the organisations Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and on the eve of Intel’s plans to publicly demonstrate the chip for the first time at a major publicity event today (Wednesday). Major PC manufacturers will announce systems based on the chip.
Intel has refused to comply with requests to remove the ID number. Major privacy organisations are concerned that the chip’s ID number could make it easy to track users and the web sites they visit. Intel says that the ID number has many important applications and that about 30 software companies plan to introduce applications that make use of the feature. The negative publicity, however, could affect sales of Pentium III microprocessors and sales of Pentium III systems.

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