HP Pays California $14.5 Million For Pretexting... But Will Use The Money To Fight Piracy?

from the say-what? dept

So the press is all abuzz with the news that HP has settled the civil suit filed against it for its little pretexting adventure. They're paying $14.5 million to the state in exchange for no civil suit from the Attorney General's office. The company still could face other charges, including from the federal government, but we'll see. Still, there's a very odd part to the settlement. Most of the money will go to a fund to help California fight intellectual property violations. Technically the fund is for both that and privacy issues, called the "Privacy and Piracy Fund." We can understand the privacy part -- since that's what HP violated -- but we're still scratching our heads over the piracy part. What do intellectual property violations (which, again, aren't really "piracy") have to do with the fact that HP used social engineering fraud tactics to spy on a whole bunch of people both inside and outside the company?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Aaron, 7 Dec 2006 @ 6:05pm

    Hmm...

    Wonder if HP would consider this a bargain for the information they obtained?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nonuser, 7 Dec 2006 @ 6:19pm

    Mark Hurd must have a friend...

    who's a genius at negotiation. This likely takes care of a longstanding complaint against the AG's office from another important California constituency.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nedu, 7 Dec 2006 @ 10:27pm

    Part of a pattern

    Remember last week's news?

    MPAA Kills Anti-Pretexting Bill (Dec 1, 2006):

    A tough California bill that would have prohibited companies and individuals from using deceptive "pretexting" ruses to steal private information about consumers was killed after determined lobbying by the motion picture industry, Wired News has learned.

    This looks like the same pattern.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Shohat, 7 Dec 2006 @ 11:06pm

    It has nothing to do with HP's deeds

    They just wanted some good digital cause to donate the money to, and both Privace and Piracy are problematic issues. Pretty simple .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2006 @ 11:20pm

      Re: It has nothing to do with HP's deeds

      Privacy is a 'problematic issue' because of companies like HP to begin with. And to think that there isn't some special-interest motive behind this is pretty ignorant (IMHO).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 7 Dec 2006 @ 11:51pm

    duh

    Pretexting is basically pirating private information, duh.

    /sarcasm

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

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



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

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

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.