Hotmail social networking busts your privacy

In its rush to take on Facebook and Google Buzz, Microsoft is now collecting and displaying personal information on your Hotmail page — information you may never have wanted to broadcast.

Exactly how it’s mining this information is something of a mystery, but if you use Hotmail or Windows Live, it’s time to review your privacy settings — lest something you said or did comes back to haunt you.

One user signed in to her Hotmail account recently and was greeted with Microsoft’s new, improved social networking splash page.

What’s wrong with this picture? All three What’s new with your network entries contain potentially embarrassing information that the authors never dreamed would appear on someone else’s Hotmail sign-in page.

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