Bowing to threats from privacy groups, Intel Corporation announced this week that it will ship its Pentium III microprocessors with a special ID chip tuned to the "off" position. Intel had planned to use the chip IDs as a way to stop piracy and theft but came under some pretty nasty criticism from certain groups. Intel says it will ship a utility program with the microprocessor that will let users turn the ID on and off as they see fit.
In a related note, legislators from the state of Arizona will meet next week to determine whether they will introduce a bill banning the sale and manufacture of Pentium III chips in that state.
"We want Intel to wake up and recognize that it needs to be careful with privacy issues," says representative Steve May, apparently forgetting that Intel is one of the state's largest employers