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ChoicePoint has agreed to pay $10 million in fines, the largest civil penalty ever imposed by the Federal Trade Commission, and $5 million in consumer compensation, to settle charges that the data broker’s record-handling procedures violated consumers’ privacy rights. “The message to ChoicePoint and others should be clear: Consumers’ private data must be protected from thieves,” said Deborah Platt Majoras, chairwoman of the FTC. The company admitted last year that a data breach compromised the personal information of at least 163,000 customers, with 800 becoming identity theft victims, the FTC said.

The Kama Sutra Worm lacked the punch many experts had feared. The mass-mailed, pornography-promising worm, also known as Nyxem.E, infected far fewer PCs -- an estimated tens of thousands -- than the expected hundreds of thousands because most systems were cleaned during the much-publicized ...

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