Skype Accused Of Handing Out Private Info To Private Company

from the massive-fail dept

Over the last year or so, there’s been concern about Skype’s commitment to privacy following its acquisition by Microsoft. Now a situation in the Netherlands is serving to renew those fears. As highlighted by Slashdot, it appears that Skype handed over information on a 16-year-old user to a private information technology firm that was investigating some denial of service attacks against PayPal.

The security firm, iSIGHT, was hired by PayPal to investigate the attacks, and an employee of the company reached out to Skype seeking information about one user who he thought might be involved. And Skype coughed up the info — including username, real name, email address and home address — no questions asked. As the article notes, there was no court order or anything like that. Just a guy from a private company asking and Skype said, “sure, here’s all the info.”

There are questions about whether this move violated some European privacy directives. At the very least it seems clear that it violated Skype’s own policies, which include not providing customer data unless required by law, or if official law enforcement is involved. In this case, neither thing is true. One hopes that this is just a one-off mistake by Skype, but it’s worrying nonetheless.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: microsoft, paypal, skype

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Skype Accused Of Handing Out Private Info To Private Company”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Atkray (profile) says:

“There are questions about whether this move violated some European privacy directives.”

You have a talent for understatement. If Google got into all kinds of trouble for driving down the street and taking pictures, how can this be ok?

Unfortunately, I expect the stereotypical 16 year old hacker/anonymous persona will be used to justify this.

F! says:

screw microsoft skype

Use Jitsi instead. Be sure to encrypt whenever possible (Jitsi supports encryption, Skype doesn’t).

Any ‘hacker’ worthy of the title wouldn’t be tracable via some half-assed product like Skype. Not saying he deserves it, but wow what a rough way to learn that lesson.

I hope Skype gets fined into oblivion for breaking both the law and their own stated policy. More likely they’ll be held up as a paradigm of law & order.

Example #9678970 why not to use/trust proprietary software.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...