The public spoke--screamed is more like it--and Lotus Development listened. On Jan. 23, the software maker shelved plans to sell Marketplace: Households, a comprehensive data base of U. S. consumers. The data base, which was to have been published on compact disks for Apple Macintosh computers, includes names, addresses, and socioeconomic profiles of 120 million Americans.

A Lotus spokeswoman said that the $695 Marketplace package had attracted considerable interest from small and midsize businesses. But the prospect of making such a lot of personal data so readily available raised the hackles of privacy advocates across the country. Lotus will take an unspecified charge in its fourth quarter to reflect the cancellation.

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