Here's our Microsoft Office Tip for.. June 14, 1999
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Office 97 and Privacy
During the last couple of weeks we talked about two issues concerning privacy. One was The new Intel PIII - who's watching? and the other was Win98 Registration Wizard and ID numbers.

Well, if you're running Office 97 there's another one you need to be aware of, and that's the subject of this tip.

It seems that certain Office 97 applications (specifically Word, Excel and PowerPointŪ) have the capability of attaching "unique identifiers" to your documents. Microsoft says "The unique identifier number inserted into Office 97 documents was designed to help third parties build tools to work with and reference Office 97 documents. The unique indentifier generated for Office 97 documents contains information that is derived in part from a network card, not from an individual user's identity, and thus it is not possible to reliably determine the author of a document. The unique identifier number has not been widely used by third parties and in light of customer privacy concerns, Microsoft has decided to help customers remove the identifier."

The following patch and removal tool will allow customers to remove the unique identifier number from existing documents, and prevent the insertion of a unique identifier in any new documents. Both resources are available for free download on Office Update.

Microsoft Office 97 Unique Identifier Patch
This patch, once applied will prevent the insertion of a unique identifier number in all new Office documents.

Microsoft Office 97 Unique Identifier Removal Tool
This is a utility that can be used to remove the unique identifier from previously created Office 97 documents. Customers who are concerned about the presence of the unique identifier number can run the utility against one or several documents at a time.

The forthcoming release of Office 2000 will not include the ability to insert unique identifier numbers in documents.