End of gay teen web site sparks privacy concerns

A now-defunct web site that catered to gay youth is now ensnared in a federal bankruptcy proceeding that its founder says could result in as many as 1 million profiles being sold to creditors, putting its former subscribers’ privacy at risk, CNET reports. XY, which billed itself as a young gay men’s magazine and could be found at XY.com, ceased publishing in 2007. Its founder filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, which could put names, addresses, eMail addresses, unpublished personal stories, and other information about gay minors into creditors’ hands. The Federal Trade Commission recently expressed its concerns, saying in a letter to creditors and attorneys involved in the case that “any sale, transfer, or use” of XY’s personal information “raises serious privacy issues and could violate” federal law. XY’s creditors have hired a lawyer to obtain the personal information held by the magazine and web site. But because XY.com’s privacy policy said, “We never give your info to anybody,” any personal data should be “destroyed,” wrote David Vladeck, the head of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, in a letter this month. The question of who owns personal data collected by a failed company, and what should be done with it, is not a new question—but none of those earlier bankruptcy proceedings included information as sensitive as the customer list for a magazine and web site that targeted gay youth between 13 and 17 years old who were in the process of grappling with their sexual identity…

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What Bill Gates is learning online

Bill Gates' new web site reveals his thoughts on open courseware, school reform, and more.
Bill Gates' new web site reveals his thoughts on open courseware, school reform, and more.

It’s no surprise, really, but it turns out Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates is a strong supporter of the open-courseware movement that has swept through higher education in the last few years.

On a new web site that Gates launched this past week, he discusses some of his favorite sources for online lectures and other learning materials. He also offers his thoughts on education reform and a host of other topics.

“There are some great examples of how technology can enable almost anyone to learn from the world’s greatest minds,” he posted to GatesNotes.com.…Read More