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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."
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Data Brokers, Gun Owners, and Consumer Privacy

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  • Uhh... So? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @03:53PM (#42421433)

    So what? There is no story here. I understand that you want to promote your blog, but it pisses me off that Slashdot facilitates you.

    How about some "news for nerds" stuff that splatters less would be nice. This post belongs in a fan, if you catch my meaning.

  • CS Code of Ethics? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @04:00PM (#42421487)

    None of this would be possible without the right algorithms. I'm sure that there are coders who will always do such things, just like there are medical doctors who engage in borderline therapies; but, shouldn't the rest of us have a Code of Ethics against it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 29, 2012 @04:37PM (#42421761)

    Why don't I own the copyright to my own data? If it has commercial value, how is it that others are allowed to profit by buying and selling it without my permission?

  • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <> on Saturday December 29, 2012 @04:38PM (#42421767)

    The addition of gun-owner data might help to make it more of a bipartisan issue. Privacy protections are typically (though not exclusively) supported by liberals and opposed by anti-regulation conservatives, who see them as too much an EU-style approach. But gun owners are very wary of this kind of stuff and a significant GOP constituency.

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @06:32PM (#42422433)

    what about a engineer like Code of Ethics for code that for stuff like autopilots / medical hardware needs engineer like sign offs with the power to SAY NO to the PHB who wants to push out poor code just to meet a deadline.

  • by markhahn ( 122033 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @06:50PM (#42422521)

    Most articles that claim to be written on the topic of privacy are actually about anonymity - we in large civilizations have gotten used to being mostly anonymous in public. Not because it was ever really true, and certainly not because it was ever a right. Our public anonymity could always be punctured by anyone with enough of an interest - law enforcement, PIs, even plain old stalkers or nosey neighbors. Public anonymity is inversely proportional to how interesting you are.

    It follows that there is no legal basis for preventing anyone (person or company) from collecting information from any legal sources, correlating it, building detailed profiles and behavioral models. If your CC agreement denys the CC company the right to keep and sell information about your purchases, good for you: otherwise, everything you do is being captured and sold. It's just too easy now (and that's the big difference from the public anonymity we all grew used to in the past.)

    So what legal activity is actually justified in this context? For one, you should strictly defend any contract you have with your service providers - ensure that they are living up to their end of it. Second, we probably need a revamped libel law that will create significant punitive damages if any information broker promulgates false information about you (ie "slander"). It used to be that slander was primarily attached to public figures, but that was really just because they were the only ones anyone paid enough attention to. All that's changed is that there are now many companies publishing (in one form or other) information about virtually everyone. They all need to be held to high standards of integrity - this is not a case where we should let the market set price/quality punishment for bad behavior.

  • by Kreigaffe ( 765218 ) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @08:10PM (#42422969)

    "Assault rifle" is a technical term.


    FUCKING PERIOD, BUCKO. You don't fucking do that because it cheapens the actual legitimate definition of the term, which is used to refer to something specific.

    Here's a fun fact for you. When the term "assault rifle" really began gaining traction amongst the news folk, afair, early/mid 90s. Clinton era. Brady Bill.

    They were, and were not, misusing the term. They were calling any military-styled firearm an "assault rifle", and then looking up the definition of "assault rifle", and coming to the conclusion that these military-styled firearms -- your AR-15s or demilitarized AKs -- were in fact fully automatic. Even fucking 20/20, though I forget the chucklehead's name, explained the term for laypeople -- that these are guns you pull the trigger and they keep shooting.

    No. They're semi-automatic. This is why you don't misuse technical terms, and this is why I tend to discount arguments for gun control. Many people in favor of gun control simply do not know what they're talking about. They don't know anything about guns. It's an emotional decision for them, and it's weighted on one side by this big scary thing they don't know, they don't understand, and *they don't want to know or understand*. Purely emotional. The media fed into that with their misuse of a technical term, and their outright lies about the difference between fully and semi automatic firearms.

    PS: The part of shooting 30 rounds as fast as you can pull your trigger that isn't assault is any time you're either shooting at a target or in defense of your life or another's life. See? There is your bias. You can't imagine any use that isn't a violent unjust attack

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