Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Dell Batteries and Privacy?

dell-battery.jpgKip Esquire has a blog post about liabilities and restatments and product liabilities with an interesting twist for the capture-everything crowd:

As for the costs of warning: How geographically diverse are the customers? How easy or difficult would it be to communicate the warning — would a press release be sufficient? Is the product likely to have been resold? And, almost uniquely relevant to Dell, does the manufacturer have a customer database?

There’s an emergent trend of the accumulation of data causing chaos. I’m sure Dell and Sony would have preferred not to own up to this, but the ability to contact customers cheaply cuts two ways.

For more on how common this is, see Bob Sullivan’s “Exploding Gadgets– it’s not just Dell.” The article lays out how many products have similar risk, which makes Dell’s actions all the more striking.

(Kip’s article is Kip Esquire, “Have you Tried Rebooting?,” and the photo is from the Sidney Morning Herald.)

3 comments on "Dell Batteries and Privacy?"

  • Chris says:

    I can’t remember if Apple reached out to me as a registered notebook owner when they, too, had a notebook battery recall. I want to say yes, but I just can’t remember. Not sure why this is a “unique to Dell” issue. IBM also had at least one power-related recall (which effected me as well, but through an employer).
    Whence the uniqueness claim? (maybe I am just dense)

  • Adam says:

    Dell has a direct-sales-only model. You can buy Apple machines at retail locations where they don’t collect your address.

  • KipEsquire says:

    Thanks for the linkage — what’s that insert picture on the upper left?

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