September 21, 2006

HP Sponsors ‘Privacy Innovation’ Award

BOSTON (AP) - Insert your own punch line: Hewlett-Packard Co., the technology company facing federal and state investigations for spying on board members and journalists, is co-sponsor of an award for "privacy innovation."

Nominees are currently being accepted for the fourth annual HP/IAPP Privacy Innovation award, which Hewlett-Packard gives in conjunction with the Maine-based International Association of Privacy Professionals.

According to the award's Web site, the prize was created to honor "strong and unique contributions to the privacy industry."

"At present, there is not sufficient recognition for organizations that have embraced privacy as a competitive advantage, and as a business/governmental imperative," the site states.

Previous winners of the award have included eBay Inc., Microsoft Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp. and two Canadian provincial offices. No one from HP is a judge.

Two IAPP directors did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday, nor did an HP spokesman.

HP is facing multiple investigations into the company's surveillance of directors, employees and journalists as it sought the source of boardroom leaks to the media. HP investigators posed as other people to obtain their phone records and sent at least one reporter monitoring "spyware" in an e-mail.

An HP director quit in protest of the methods and another resigned after being outed as a leaker. Questions about HP's methods led the board chair, Patricia Dunn, to agree to cede the post in January, though she plans to remain a director.

One place to read about all this is none other the Privacy Innovation award's Web site. It contains a long list of privacy-related stories in the news, including the HP affair.

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