Privacy advocates fear that some of Microsoft's new products and services will give the company the ability to harvest an unprecedented quantity of private data about its customers. A few key areas:


Microsoft's (MSFT ) new HailStorm service will help manage people's calendars. A record of that 3 p.m. flight to Pittsburgh will be stored on a Microsoft server--as will the regular Friday session with a therapist.


The new Passport service is a digital wallet, which includes people's addresses and credit card numbers. It's designed to streamline shopping online, but it could eventually allow the company to make a detailed profile of people's buying habits.


A new operating system feature called Smart Tags places a hyperlink on certain words, whether they're on a personal document or a Web page. Windows will keep a record of which links you click on, in effect, a personal profile. Initially, this data will stay on your hard drive. But critics worry it's likely to migrate to a Microsoft server.

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