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IBM releases Facebook tool

IBM unveiled an application on Thursday that guides users toward strong privacy settings in Facebook’s online marketplace and could be developed into a management tool for companies or across Web sites for users. The application, called Privacy-aware MarketPlace, shows users in Facebook’s buying and selling forum how their privacy settings rate compared to a recommended level and lets them make suggested changes. It shows two scales that compare the user’s privacy rating with the recommended score. The version in Facebook Marketplace is the application’s first and will be used to collect data about user privacy preferences.

Microsoft discontinues analytical service

Microsoft on Thursday said it will discontinue its adCenter Analytics service at the end of the year, and it appears that the company does not plan to replace it. AdCenter Analytics had been in beta and is based on Web analytics tools for online marketers and publishers developed by DeepMatrix, a company Microsoft bought in 2006. Existing customers can keep using the service through the end of the year, at which time technical support will end and the service will be shut down. Customers will need to export their data before the Dec. 31 cut-off date to avoid losing it.

Nortel to sell business units

Nortel Networks may have no choice but to sell off key parts of its business, industry analysts said after reports that the company is in talks with competitors to do just that.  Nortel has had discussions with rival vendors about buying both its mobile infrastructure business and its enterprise networks unit, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday in an article that cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in January after struggling with a financial scandal and a string of financial losses. When it filed for bankruptcy, Nortel said it expected to emerge from a reorganization as a more focused and financially sound operation. But selling the wireless and enterprise divisions would gut the once-giant communications technology company.

Privacy group changes mandate

A Microsoft-led group set up three years ago has backed away from its original goal of pushing for comprehensive U.S. privacy legislation. Originally, the Consumer Privacy Legislative Forum was set up to bring a diverse array of consumer companies, technology vendors and even advocacy groups together and help drive privacy legislation. But now the group has been renamed the Business Forum for Consumer Privacy and is instead being billed as “an organization focused on fostering innovation in consumer privacy governance,” according to the group’s new mission statement.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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