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Privacy Policies Only as Good as the People Enforcing Them 104

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the fear-the-market-droids dept.
Techdirt is reporting that while we all know privacy policies may not matter much in the grand scheme of things, a recent study shows that it may be even worse than originally surmised. It seems that the real issue is with who has access to personal data and what they are able to do with it. "of course, it's not just the people reading the policies that don't seem to understand them -- it's those in charge of living up to and enforcing the policies. A new study surveyed a bunch of executives, including both marketing execs and those in charge of enforcing the privacy policy, and quickly discovered that marketers have a very different concept of 'privacy' than privacy officers. Not surprisingly, they don't see anything wrong with sharing all sorts of data that seems to horrify privacy officers."
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Privacy Policies Only as Good as the People Enforcing Them

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  • s/News/Not News/ (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Grey (463613) * on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:03PM (#24033085)
    The article links to TechDirt but the actual article is at Forbes:

    What Privacy Policy? [forbes.com]

    Survey statistics from the real article:

    More specifically, 80% of marketers said their organizations share e-mail addresses with third parties, compared with 47% of security and privacy officers. Other examples: 65% of marketers said they would distribute a customer's cellphone number, while only 47% of privacy execs said their companies allowed the data to be shared. Forty-five percent of marketers believe their companies shared credit card data, compared with 32% of privacy officers, and 29% of marketers believe their firms distribute social security numbers, compared with 7% of privacy professionals.

    Those numbers just back up what we all believed anyway, right? I mean, is this really news? Or just news with different numbers?

    • You mean... marketers don't care about us? All they care about is our money? So many illusions shattered.
      • by Original Replica (908688) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:24PM (#24034339) Journal
        You mean... marketers don't care about us? All they care about is our money?

        It's in the nature of what they do. They trade in the awareness and perceptions of other people. A marketer that wanted to preserve consumers privacy and individual choice would be like a surgeon that was afraid of blood and was squeamish about cutting into somebody. A marketers job is to tell you how to think, what to want, and what ideals to have. They respect you like a puppeteer respects a puppet.

        I've always found the marketer/news media duality more entertaining than the marketer/privacy policy duality. Journalists will swear that they aren't trying to influence people. They are just reporting the facts. But the ad sales departments sell commercial slots for those same programs with the pitch about how many millions of viewers can be influenced.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by budgenator (254554)

          A marketers job is to tell you how to think, what to want, and what ideals to have. They respect you like a puppeteer respects a puppet.
          How quaint, when I took marketing it was composed of 3 P's, Product, Price, and Placement and consisted of figuring out what the customer wanted, how much he wanted to pay and where he wanted to purchase; adding the forth P, Promotion really inverted things. Seems a 3P marketer wants his offices next door to the R&D department to make it as easy as possible to get poten

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Reziac (43301) *

            Things changed when companies stopped selling a product, and started selling customers to each other.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by b4upoo (166390)

      Although I am not a privacy advocate I do advocate for truth. If companies are sharing data while deceiving customers then prison is the place for these executives.
                          I am convinced that our justice system has become little more than a racial and social system that is clearly devoted to crushing the lower classes. That is why we are bombarded with white collar crime and these people rarely are punished.

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        by CDMA_Demo (841347)

        If companies are sharing data while deceiving customers then prison is the place for these executives.

        If I was from Control, you'd already be in prison.
        If you were from Control, you'd already be in prison
        Neither of us are in prison, so obviously...

      • by JAlexoi (1085785)

        >> Although I am not a privacy advocate
        Really? Care to share your Full Name, CC number,residential address and SSN?

      • by mpe (36238)
        Although I am not a privacy advocate I do advocate for truth. If companies are sharing data while deceiving customers then prison is the place for these executives.

        In how many such cases do they break the letter of the law though...

        I am convinced that our justice system has become little more than a racial and social system that is clearly devoted to crushing the lower classes. That is why we are bombarded with white collar crime and these people rarely are punished.

        Even more rarely punished proportio
    • that people who read Forbes don't like the violation. We know it's wrong and the public is catching up. That's good news.

  • Ummm.... Duh... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guruevi (827432) <evi@@@smokingcube...be> on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:08PM (#24033153) Homepage

    The strength of a chain is only that of it's weakest link. We recently had a proposal to implement NAC and they're constantly tightening policies. Most solutions however are easily circumvented and rendered incapacitated by only one person or device.

    As usual, the problem with computer and/or network security is not necessarily the computer (unless you're running Windows) but the people sitting in front of it.

    • by illeism (953119) *

      As usual, the problem with computer and/or network security is not necessarily the computer (unless you're running Windows) but the people sitting in front of it.

      Which is why we need robots!

  • A system is only as good as the people that control it.

    I would have never come to that conclusion without this article.

    Really, in all seriousness, is this actually a surprise?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      > A system is only as good as the people that control it.

      A system that needs people to control it is destined to fail. A system that controls itself is robust.

      • who is modding this crap as interesting?

        • who is modding this crap as interesting?

          It's those damn moderator-robots, of course!
          (Which I'm told are the robust, self-controlled pinnacles of Slashdot moderating who will never fail us.)

      • by Kjella (173770)

        A system that needs people to control it is destined to fail. A system that controls itself is robust.

        Unless you've secretly developed strong AI, there's always people at the helm somewhere. If they aren't the controls someone implemented those controls. Someone designed those controls. In anything but the simplest systems only people are able to spot people that circumvent the controls and improve them. Whoever checks that everything is controlled could slip something past the entire control system. Then you need watchers, and who watches the watchers? And even when the system is supposed to control itself

        • > the system is supposed to control itself like say the division of power in government
          That is exactly the sort of system I'm talking about. Other self-controlling systems include market economies, and Nature.

          > there's always people in the system trying to unravel it.
          Just because humans want to (and do) subvert such systems doesn't mean all systems are actively managed. Nor does it mean that actively managed systems are comparably robust to self-correcting systems.

          For example, Republicans and Democr

      • A system that needs people to control it is destined to fail. A system that controls itself is robust.

        Whatever, HAL.

        A system that controls itself is only as robust as the initial designers made it.

        A process that needs people to take action is destined to have problems. A system that consists of actions taken by people cannot control itself, and is destined to have problems.

      • by rlwhite (219604) <rogerwh@NosPam.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:30PM (#24034429)

        I can't let you do that, Dave.

      • Enterprise is infected with carbon units.
    • I'd like to extend my most sincere congratulations to Commander Obvious on his promotion to Captain.
  • by RabidMoose (746680) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:09PM (#24033199) Homepage
    I, for one, would seriously like to see a survey conducted across a wide ranges of job types and industries, polling employees about how compotent they feel they are at their job. I get the feeling a rather large number of people are just desk-fillers, who happened to be able get through the interview process, only to realize they have no idea what they're doing. And the same people have bosses who are just as incompotent, so everybody keeps their job.
    • by TravisO (979545)

      Such thoughts, despite being shockingly correct, when spoken out loud may cause the universe to collapse. So please keep them to yourself.

      Welcome to enlightenment my friend.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lucidus (681639)
      Unfortunately, I don't think you would learn very much from your survey. One of the things the less competent are less competent at, is self-evaluation. I am sure many of us have observed this, and there have been studies which support the same conclusion with some rigor. The biggest screw-up in the company always believes he is indispensable. On the other hand, highly capable people tend to have a much more accurate understanding of both their strengths and their weaknesses.
    • So what do we do with the people who aren't really competent at anyneeded job? There are all too many people in this world with no real skill, or motivation, or critical thinking ability. It appears to be morally/politically unacceptable to let them fail severely enough to inspire self motivation and the real desire for a useful skill.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Bugs42 (788576)

      I, for one, would seriously like to see a survey conducted across a wide ranges of job types

      I, for one, am glad to see a post that begins with "I, for one" but doesn't end with "overlords."

  • by Noryungi (70322) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:10PM (#24033209) Homepage Journal

    Privacy only as good as the people taked to enforce it? And how is this news, hmmmm?

    I mean, I once heard of a farmer who gave the keys to the henhouse to a fox. And, guess what? The next day: no more chicken! What a surprise!

    In other news, people with matches put more things on fire, and war is dangerous business for just about everyone, including puppies and cute little kids.

    • by ChowRiit (939581)

      I mean, I once heard of a farmer who gave the keys to the henhouse to a fox. And, guess what? The next day: no more chicken! What a surprise!

      That's a pretty damn talented fox!

  • Any policy... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eepok (545733) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:10PM (#24033217) Homepage

    Any policy is only as good as the people enforcing them.

    See: US Constitution, Antitrust Law, the Tax Code

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Water is wet. Shit stinks. Money is nice to have. Details at 11.

    • Re:In related news (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:33PM (#24033573) Journal

      Shit stinks

      When my oldest daughter was born, the first time I changed her diaper I said "Wow! A miracle baby! My kid's shit don't stink!

      Two weeks later I almost gagged changing her, I was ready to call the EPA. Later I found that no newborn's shit stinks. It only stinks after the baby has bred bacteria in its bowels.

      Shit does not, in fact, stink. Bacteria stinks. You might actually need to run a scientific experiment to determine this statement's validity.

      The article would be a lot more newsworthy is the researchers had found surprising data rather than what everyone expected.

      • you need to watch "Bill Cosby Himself." He talks about that very thing.
      • by bwcbwc (601780)

        Actually, it depends what the bacteria feed on. The bacteria don't just magically appear in the baby's intestines. They are already there, but the only thing in the baby's digestive system is whatever amniotic fluid the baby has swallowed while in the womb. No real decay products to deal with there. Once they start consuming mother's milk or formula, it starts to stink quite a bit, but the real killer comes when they start to eat baby food and you they get their first meat-based food.

  • by Ken D (100098) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:17PM (#24033321)

    Seriously. Google the phrase "except as allowed by law", you will find tons of privacy policies that look like this "BlahCo does not share your data except as allowed by law".

    Oh great! They won't break the law. That's comforting. Thanks for spending money telling me how you won't do anything to break the law. You'll just distribute my info to anyone to whom it is legal to do so.

    How about "BlahCo will not share your data except as REQUIRED by law." Oh no, that would stop their marketing efforts....

    • by st33med (1318589)
      Heh, good point. Think I need to check privacy policies for that when I visit a site...

      BTW, checked SourceForge's privacy policy:

      SourceForge has a user's permission or as required by law, SourceForge will only share the personally identifiable information a user provides online

      Good thing :)

      • by XanC (644172)

        Until it changes without notice to read "we'll do whatever we want" and they still have all your data you gave them under the previous policy.

        So even a great policy doesn't really mean jack, if you don't trust the people and the company. And not just now, you have to trust everybody who might ever have access to that data in the future!

    • by swm (171547) * <swmcd@world.std.com> on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @03:10PM (#24034959) Homepage

      A few years ago, congress passed a law requiring companies to disclose their privacy policies to their customers. That's when we started getting those dense little privacy notices stuffed into our credit card bills and splashed onto web signup pages.

      Someone went through and *read* one of those things (from a major brand, I forget who) and worked out the actual content of it. What it came down to was

      "If you don't check the box [on the signup page], we will do whatever we like with your personal information.

      "If you do check the box, we will do whatever we like with your personal information, but we won't break the law."

      • Don't forget about all those clauses to the effect of (emphasis mine):

        We reserve the right to update this policy at any time and to notify you, the customer, by making changes to this web page.

        It's perfectly legal, but what if they change the terms for say, one hour, sell their entire customer database, then change it back? Unless you're refreshing that page 24-7, you will be screwed. Remember when Yahoo did this? [slashdot.org]

        • by Yer Mom (78107)

          Don't forget about all those clauses to the effect of (emphasis mine):

          We reserve the right to update this policy at any time and to notify you, the customer, by making changes to this web page.

          It's perfectly legal, but what if they change the terms for say, one hour, sell their entire customer database, then change it back? Unless you're refreshing that page 24-7, you will be screwed

          So we should all set up a cron job to load their privacy policy every 5 minutes. When they complain, point out how they're

          • Oooh . . . that is a sublimely evil idea. I like it!

          • by mpe (36238)
            So we should all set up a cron job to load their privacy policy every 5 minutes. When they complain, point out how they're not leaving you much choice if you want to keep up to date.

            You'd probably need to do it a lot more often that that to catch all possible changes. It would be pointless anyway, this is just a policy even if it turned out they had violated it then good luck trying to sue them.
        • Then if people find out about it you may expect a class-action lawsuit fighting whether that is reasonable notice. It might not be as obviously damaging as a utilities bill hypothetically changing the contract to let themselves bill you extra money, but in this age of mass identity theft it may be interesting to see where such a case would go

      • by mpe (36238)
        A few years ago, congress passed a law requiring companies to disclose their privacy policies to their customers.

        As opposed to passing a law restricting what companies could do with data about their customers, which would acually be of some use. However so long as it's only "plebs" being abused this is unlikely to happen. The only data protection type law in the US appears to have originated because the media got hold of information on a "patrician".

        Someone went through and *read* one of those things (f
  • wow! (Score:1, Informative)

    i hope they didn't spend too much money figuring this out.
  • Always the case? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537)

    Aren't any policies or laws only as good as the people enforcing them?

  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:28PM (#24033515) Homepage

    There are some companies, that just plain lie. In one such instance, Deniro Marketing, they were provided a unique e-mail address, and now that e-mail address is getting spam for drugs, enhancement products, stock tips, etc.

    I have had other companies (versuslaw.com) try to claim that "you must have been infected with a virus that distributed your address book." Of course, I run OS/2 and Post Road Mailer. Nobody writes virii for OS/2 and Post Road Mailer does not run scripts or anything else. Of course, I had another company blame it on their fulfillment people.

    • by sconeu (64226)

      Could be a dictionary attack.

      • by Progman3K (515744)

        Or someone who had your address in their address book got pwned

      • by GryMor (88799)

        Could check that by having some honeypot addresses that are just never shared but should get hit by dictionary attacks more frequently than the uniques.

      • Not for spam delivery. Spam bounces, yes, but even that's rare.

        The vast majority of the no-such-account spam to my mail server is to fragments of Usenet user IDs, old accounts, and so on. The only cluster of dictionary attacks are bounces from spam with my domain forged as the sender... and most of that is things like "DeloresrecessPayton" and "tanyaarentcouch", not credible user names. The top non-real accounts it's hitting are "pklss05", "zurw9t5", and "v72u6d1"... of the couple of thousand spams a day th

        • by sconeu (64226)

          My argument was based on experience.

          Back on '01, I bought something from an online vendor. This was an account that had never been used before. Within an hour, I had gotten spam there. I complained, and got an apology.

          However, three hours later, four of my other accounts (two of which were also unused) got identical spam, suggesting to me that it was a dictionary.

          • by argent (18001)

            Oh, I'm sure it can happen, but it's rare enough that after 15 years of spam to my server, with bursts of traffic that led me to block several countries at the router simply because I couldn't afford the extra traffic from the SMTP handshakes from spam attempts, I've only seen rare indications of dictionary attacks, and none recently.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      What fraction of people that send you spam wind up in prison? Deliberate privacy violations are probably showing an even worse record. Until we are willing to put people of the white collar and upper executive class in prison for long periods of time we will have no control over violations at all.

      • by mpe (36238)
        What fraction of people that send you spam wind up in prison?
        Might help if law enforcement actually took much of an interest. Even if the spam itself isn't technically illegal most spammers break all sorts of laws.

        Deliberate privacy violations are probably showing an even worse record.

        Is there are law against it?
    • Ameritrade (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bcrowell (177657) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:53PM (#24034719) Homepage

      A classic example of this is Ameritrade.

      1. http://bbs.spamgourmet.com/viewtopic.php?t=81&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=45&sid=21389b26d00d7c69bc59424a299b3f98 [spamgourmet.com]
      2. http://groups.google.com.fj/group/news.admin.net-abuse.email/browse_thread/thread/de64222d0929c6b4/a402bc49558f7330 [google.com.fj]

      I set up an account with them, using a single-purpose email address, amtdcrowell06 at lightandmatter.com. Notice the amtd on the front, which was a unique prefix I chose just for use with them. I started getting spam like crazy. Strangely enough, the spam was all about stocks -- pump-and-dump stuff. Ameritrade tried to blame it on a virus, which wasn't very plausible, since I was running FreeBSD, postfix, and mutt. They tried to blame it on a brute force or dictionary attack, which also wasn't very plausible -- the prefix doesn't really consist of dictionary words, and 13 characters, consisting of a mixture of letters and digits, gives a total of 10^20 possible addresses that would have had to be checked by brute force. I wouldn't have minded if it was a myspace account or something, but these were people who had large amounts of my money. I migrated my account to scottrade. Years later the news broke that ameritrade had leaked tons of email addresses. They blamed it on some unknown insider. Since people had been telling them about the problem for years, you'd think they'd have clued in a lot earlier. It's amazing how bad an internet-based company can be at the internet thing. If any slashdotters are using ameritrade, you might want to think about switching to some other company. (Ameritrade's web interface also had some functionality that didn't work properly in Firefox on Linux.) You can transfer your portfolio from one company to another without having to pay capital gains, and without incurring transaction costs.

      • by RobBebop (947356)

        You can transfer your portfolio from one company to another without having to pay capital gains, and without incurring transaction costs.

        I am an AMTD customer. Can you please explain this transfer in a little more details to spare me from doing the research?

        Gmail succesfully filters all my stock spam, but it wasn't until just now that I realized WHY I was getting it. That is a scumbag thing for a securities broker to do....

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bcrowell (177657)
          I am an AMTD customer. Can you please explain this transfer in a little more details to spare me from doing the research?
          Well, let's say you're going to switch to scottrade, which is what I did. Basically all you do is call up scottrade and tell them what you want to do. They'll guide you through the process of transferring your positions from ameritrade to them -- they're motivated to help you complete the process, because they want you as a customer. It was pretty easy when I did it. The only minor has
      • Dude, I hate to burst your bubble, but in all likelihood they knew that they'd been pwned all along but just didn't want to admit it or do anything about it. I mean, what were you going to do? Move to another trader? ...oh, right.
    • We registered at BabysRus and now we're getting physical mailers for various baby products. I never signed a waiver allowing them to give away (or sell) my information.

  • No surprise (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    No surprise. Privacy policies are really there to cover the corporation's assets, though they also function nicely as a platform for lawsuits.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:36PM (#24033603)

    There is a thick gray line for what falls under protecting privacy and sharing critical information.

    Giving an email adress for some may not seem like critical information that will violate a persons privacy, while to others it would be like a crime against humanity and all that is decent. Or you can go more to the middle, like the information that TiVo collects, while it is not accoated to any particular person however their viewing habits are monitored and tracked and used for advertisers, to but a little green thumb next to stuff you may be interested in. Or to see that you actually do watch that show that in public your vietemently deny ever seeing. Perhaps it could go one step further of using your system ID left join to user names of system IDs name and adresses.... All information falls on the sliding scale. If you are a good data miner and have the access you can figure out most anything.

    Eg. a normal Slashdot post. you have the user name. Then you can see all the posts the person posts in the past. For example you can probably search all my posts and find my Real Name and my Current address. As looking at pages I have linked to areas of interests I talked about with some authority on, or if I had a home page setup people would see my home page... Then you may cross reference my login name with other sites and see other interests I may have or it could be someone else with the same handle however it could be a clue, further on. Then finding my name and location my may find where they work and most likely their resume if they are looking for a job......
    Now I would prefer that you didn't do such as I would feel it would be a violation of my privacy. However there is a lot of information that can be gathered from a person today.

    • by TheLink (130905)
      "while to others it would be like a crime against humanity and all that is decent"

      Actually to me it's more of whether they LIED or not.

      If they said they'd keep it a secret, or "you'd only get email from us", and spam starts showing up on your unique hard to guess email address reserved for them (e.g. brand@something.random.yourdomain.com, then it's likely they lied.

      If they lied about something like that, I'd say they'd lie about other stuff too.
      • Still there is a gray line. Lets say I said I will not give your email to any 3rd party. My compnay owns Xyz.com and sells JKL and BYL.com and sell IOQ which is a cross sell of Xyz.com so I gave the address to BYL.com from Xyz.com without going to a 3rd party company just an other division.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:43PM (#24033719)

    Marketers are rewarded for increasing sales / revenue / market share and so would view anything that can do that as a good thing to do.

    Privacy officers, OTOH, are trying to protect customer data and so have a different outlook and reward structure.

    My point - this is why strategies (Financial / Customer / Process) need to be articulated at the C level and reviewed and outcomes monitored on a regular basis - so everyone is on the same page.

    What really bothered me was this:

    And in 2005, data broker Choicepoint sold more than 145,000 individuals' personal data to Nigerian scammers it believed were legitimate marketers.

    In another ongoing case, Ponemon founder Larry Ponemon says he is consulting with a major financial institution currently being investigated by several states' attorneys general in a major data breach attributed to an e-mail marketing partner. The company, Ponemon says, gave data from six million customer accounts to a marketing firm in Southeast Asia, where it was eventually posted to a Central Asian site dealing in black-market credit card numbers.

    As criminals grow in sophistication and are able to co-opt crocked government officials you'll probably see more off this - why phish when you can buy the data you need outright?

    Setup a shell company, buy the data you want and go to town (and anywhere else you want) on somebody else's dime. Off course, as corporate losses mount from such fraud the corporations will push for tighter controls simply because it starts to hit them in the wallet.

    I had someone charge airline tickets on my card - I had flight numbers, ticket numbers and names and could not get the airline to cancel the tickets; even after I told them it was fraud and the charges were disputed. Right now fraud is just a cost of doing business I guess.

    • even after I told them it was fraud and the charges were disputed.

      So phone your card company, explain the situation and have them hit the airline with a chargeback [wikipedia.org]. The majors all have anti-fraud divisions that will investigate the situation and reverse charges when the evidence is in favor of the customer, particularly if you were prompt in reporting the fraudulent activity.

      • even after I told them it was fraud and the charges were disputed.

        So phone your card company, explain the situation and have them hit the airline with a chargeback [wikipedia.org]. The majors all have anti-fraud divisions that will investigate the situation and reverse charges when the evidence is in favor of the customer, particularly if you were prompt in reporting the fraudulent activity.

        First thing I did; since my card statement online shows the passenger name, flight and ticket # I tried to let the airlines know so they could take action before the ticket was used. In one case the outbound but not the return was used; I'd love for them to strand the thief in a foreign country or have them arrested.

  • Thanks for the article captain obvious :)
  • Just like the cake ... it is a lie

    Just like a spoon ... there is no privacy

    Let just microchip everyone with the Mark of the Beast and be done with it already. Sheesh.

  • I was surprised to find my own company shared email addresses. I created an account for my companies website with my work email address... When I began being spammed with viagra ads and ways to play poker legally I was shocked. When I asked my director about this, they said they knew of nothing about it and would look into it. a couple weeks later I was informed they found the issue and it should be resolved.... What does that mean? I may never know.
  • by KC7GR (473279) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @01:52PM (#24033843) Homepage Journal

    Weather due to change within 24 hours! Sun expected to rise in east!! Horny dolphins shock whale-watchers with aquatic orgy!!!

    @Slashdot editors: Slow news day?

  • by BattyMan (21874) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:02PM (#24034011) Journal

    From the TechDirt discussion:

    When it comes to business "data" and citizen "data" we have seem to have two standards. Business believe that they can expropriate private data at will. We already have had example where the medical profession has taken samples from patients (without their permission in some cases) and developed tests, patented those tests, and made money; and given the patient zippo.

    Now if you, as a citizen, take business "data" such as a song you are deemed to be guilty of theft! Not only that, but as Mike has pointed out in other articles, the MPAA and the RIAA want to ignore due process. If they say you are guilty, you are guilty irrespective of the existence of any evidence.

    Business' should NOT have a right to expropriate, at will, what is not theirs.

    If corporate Amerika treated my "intellectual 'property'" (i.e. my personal identity, beginning with my email address, which I'll point out that they pay me NOthing for, but rather obtain by extortion: "you must surrender an email addres to register to use this website"!) as MY PRIVATE PROPERTY, maybe I would feel more inclined to treat their "intellectual 'property'" (i.e. music and movies _I_'ve paid money to them to use!) with a little bit more respect.

    As it stands now, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and just as they see nothing wrong with sharing "my" email address with their "coroporate partners and marketing associates", I find nothing wrong with sharing "their" music and movies with my family and friends.

  • Is this a subtle way of announcing that Fark ran out of Obvious tags?

  • A new study surveyed a bunch of executives,

    Oh! I love it when you talk all statistical and scientific to me! Giving me the hope of REAL data... but alas you dash my hopes...

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:34PM (#24034483)
    The only way to "try" and maintain your privacy is to NOT give away things like your name, e-mail address, phone numbers, etc. That still won't ensure privacy, as this article proves, but you don't need to make it any easier for them. Given most of you aren't willing to go to the extremes required to maintain your privacy yourselves, you should just expect your privacy to be violated. How many of you screaming "privacy!" right now have unlisted phone numbers, for example?
  • by The Angry Mick (632931) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @02:43PM (#24034599) Homepage

    . . . in this little gem from the Forbes article:

    Ponemon notes that despite their differences, the two groups [marketeers and privacy officials] tend to agree about the privacy value of another kind of information: their own. Ninety-three percent of marketers and 99% of privacy officers surveyed said their own privacy was "an important personal issue."

    Translation:

    "I don't give a shit about my customer's privacy, but nobody better ever fuck with mine.

    • by shermo (1284310)

      There's a big difference between 99% and 93%.

      In other words "Only 1% of privacy officers surveyed didn't think their own privacy mattered, whereas a massive 7% of marketeers don't care about their own privacy"

  • SOE employee tells, SOE volunteer about a customer complaining about the SOE volunteer's behavior... SOE Volunteer uses access given to SOE Volunteer to look up Customers personal information and SOE actually Telephones Customer to warn them not to be complaining about them. - http://n3rfed.blogs.com/n3rfed/2005/07/this_update_is_.html [blogs.com]
  • I mean there's Green Peace for the planet, Human Rights Watch for human rights...etc.

    If there has ever been a need in need of invention this is it, internet users would like to go to one big third party and check out whether or not Facebook will give their information to say, my insurance company when I fake getting a Tattoo infection.

    I seriously think as a business this would be a very lucrative industry, at the same time I for one wouldn't mind entering Wakoopa in the search engine of this company's websi

  • by SleepyHappyDoc (813919) on Wednesday July 02, 2008 @03:53PM (#24035389)

    I knew this a while ago. In a fit of stupidity, several years ago, I decided to join Canada's NDP, and I was dumb enough to give them my email address. What ensued has been very educational about the position privacy concerns really occupy in Canada. Not only do they use a huge variety of spam-filter evasion techniques on their missives, but they blatantly ignore their own privacy policy, to the point of ridiculing their own members when they ask about it. Now, I shouldn't have expected a lot from a political party, but it seems interesting that the people who demand that others obey privacy rules (to the point of creating laws to compel people to do so) would have such a disdain for them. If they won't follow it, what possible incentive does anyone else have to waste any effort doing so?

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