Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Privacy Security Your Rights Online

Data Brokers, Gun Owners, and Consumer Privacy 95

New submitter FreaKBeaNie writes "Earlier this month, the FTC issued 9 orders to data brokerage companies to learn more about their privacy practices. Data brokers are skilled at connecting quasi-private data with publicly available data, like voter rolls, housing sales, and now gun ownership records. Unlike merchants or business partners, these data brokers may or may not have had any interaction with the 'subjects' of their data collection."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Data Brokers, Gun Owners, and Consumer Privacy

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Uhh... So? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @04:44PM (#42421787)

    Actually, forget slashdot. And the blackjack.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @05:01PM (#42421889)

    People can be unjustly discriminated against, or unjustly harassed, for many reasons. Therefore, keeping the kinds of information that are likely to elicit such discrimination or harassment private is important.

    Gun owners, no matter how proud they are of their rights and heritage, are justified in wanting to keep their purchase history just between them and the seller. More so now, since there is widespread animosity towards gun owners even if they never have and never will do anything evil or irresponsible with the guns.

  • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @06:00PM (#42422251)

    Christ. No one is selling assault rifles in the US. No one. They're already illegal. Even the media is starting to say, "assault-type" rifles, which is just as misleading because it is a pointless term, but at least it implies that they know that no one is actually firing an actual assault rifle, even in school shootings.

    Assault rifles are either full auto or multi-round burst. Every single weapon in the US that is called "assault-style" is a semi-automatic. All the AR-15's for sale are semi-autos. The fact that they are the basis for the M-16 and the M-4 does not make them any more lethal than any other semi-auto. In fact, they are less lethal than many hunting rifles because they use smaller caliber ammo that tends to make clean holes. And few to none of them are using drum or other high capacity magazines. I assure you, you can fire as much ammo as you like with one weapon and the ability to drop a clip and reload another one.

    The problem with the weapons is not the type of weapon, its the fact that it's being fired at unarmed people in situations where they were not expecting to be shot at and so were unprepared and unable to respond. Any weapon at all will do for that, even a knife.

    That said, I'm not entirely against sane gun laws, but when the media keeps pointing to types of guns that don't even really exist as a separate class as being the problem, it's starting to sound more like it is trying to make headlines instead of promoting accuracy.

    The real problem with these shootings isn't guns, it's the crazy people behind them, more to the point, the crazy people that everyone knew were nuts, but no one knew what to do with. If you think this is a wake up call for gun control, you're 100% wrong. This is a wake up call for better mental health care and screening.

    And I don't know what planet you are from, but I don't know a single gun owner or conservative who is happy with the idea of the government or companies getting more information. You act as though they were perfectly glad that spam existed until they started to get it now, as if they weren't getting it in their email, mailbox and telephone for everything else already.

  • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @07:44PM (#42422795)

    Your entire post reveals that your knowledge of guns comes from either Hollywood or your dreams. Either way, it has no relation to reality. You cannot kill anything close to 30 people under any realistic situation with 30 rounds. Trained police officers miss more than 50% of shots fired even in close range engagements. In any case, one of the main purposes of gun ownership in this country, as per SCOTUS, is self-defense. The gun of choice of criminals in over 90% of cases is a semi-automatic. If you are willing to go against a 15 round Glock or a 30 round AK, wielding your grandfather's bolt action hunting rifle you will be one very brave dead liberal.

    As it happens an AR makes a safer home defense weapon than, say a large caliber revolver (which nobody wants to ban) as the tiny rounds they use are less likely to over-penetrate and go out to the street or into your neighbor's house, whereas a .44 magnum will go clean through couple of houses and still kill a passer by on the other side.

  • by tiqui ( 1024021 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:47PM (#42423189)

    First, "Weapon of Mass Destruction" is a term-of-art, not a slogan. It specifically refers to a class of weapons designed so that a single device can wipe-out a large population - and the definition has always been: Nuclear, Biological or Chemical (NATO and US forces used to refer to this as "NBC warfare"). In the post-9/11 world, however, with new laws on terrorism, Orwellian politicians and activists of various stripes have all been calling anything they dislike "WMD"; the term is being watered-down by mis-use and de-valued just like the words "Holocaust" and "Racist".

    Second, Nearly all firearms in the US are semi-automatic (technically even most revolvers are "semi-automatic" though the term is not usually stretched that far --- not yet). The fact is that most non-revolver pistols are every bit as "semi-automatic" as an AR-15 or an AK-47. Most civilians could not manage a completely manual firearm (not even a revolver), and the nation's founders never would have intended them to. The founders of the nation intended that the citizens would all be armed with front-line military weapons (both so that they could deter and repel and foreign invaders and also so they could deter and block any future American tyrant). George Washington specifically wrote that the citizens had a right to keep and bear both pistols and rifles and Jefferson (an inventor) was well-aware of automation, so the idea that guns would become automated would have been no surprise to him. The problem with firearms has NEVER been the inanimate object, just as neither alcohol nor cars are the cause of the annual 20,000+ drunk driving deaths. The problem in all these cases is the human being

    All of the mass shootings in recent US history have involved [1] a border-line crazy person who had given previous warnings of extreme dysfunction and [2] a "gun-free zone" where the evil bastard could be confident that his targets were unarmed sheep ready for slaughter.

    It's nearly comical to watch all the anti-gun activists go through various contortions to desperately avoid the facts in these arguments. The previous poster (like every pro-2nd-ammendment guy who tries to get a word in edge-wise with Piers Morgan) was correct on the FACTS; When a typical member of the public sees an AR-15 and hears the words "assault weapon" he thinks "machine gun" ... this is by design and it's pure propaganda (actual machines guns have been illegal for decades). There has never actually been a gun term "assault weapon" ... that's a synthetic propaganda term designed to convey impressions and distort debate, much like the words "hate speech", "homophobia", etc. It's also a fact that an AR-15 is less dangerous than many deer rifles (I have experience with both). The AR-15 might look "cool" (or menacing, depending on your political leanings) but it's real charm is simply that many Americans who have served in the military are comfortable/familiar with the overall design (which is solid and reliable), the rounds are common, and the thing looks intimidating to the sort of stupid thug one might want to deter with it. Nearly all other American weapons can fire rounds just as fast. If you have bought into the whole "assault weapon" thing, you have been manipulated; I prefer the U.S. Constitution including the 2nd amendment ... which is what guarantees the other amendments.

    BTW: The NRA is wrong: the answer is not to have armed guards everywhere (though they do have an interesting point that we guard all sorts of things we value, like money, with armed guards while refusing such guards for the kids of the non-rich). Our founders never imagined a nation with armed guards in uniforms at every building; they presumed every citizen would be armed as appropriate to protect himself, his family and his business and crime would be low without a ubiquitous display of guns because

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford