Daily Archives: July 25, 2004

Keeping Track of You

You are being monitored:

It’s hard to travel incognito these days. As you go about your business, you leave a trail of data for others to collect, merge, mine, analyse and even sell, often without our knowledge or consent. And we are increasingly subject to electronic or visual surveillance, often without our knowledge or express consent.
At the bottom of the linked article is a hypothetical one day data capture timeline. Read it and be comforted….
I take a pretty basic position on personal information privacy. All information gathered by any entity about an individual must be kept private unless the individual specifically authorizes the release of that information. No exceptions. Penalities for unauthorized disclosure should be high.
So, with the above constraint, I think it is just fine for Safeway to keep track of my buying habits and, if they have my permission, to disclose this information to third parties.
And, no, I do not think it reasonable to grant governmental entities an exception to this. They should have to get my permission to disclose information that they have gathered.
Thus, none of these entities, government or private, would get to disclose information in response to any kind of subpoena without the target individuals permission.
Meanwhile, use cash when you can.

Still Looking for Their Precisous

Last Week the House of Representatives continued to demonstrate that they are focused on things important by spending time on H.R. 3313 (PDF) which is also known as The Marriage Protection Act of 2004.
Now, to my untrained eye, it appears that there is no basis in the constitution for congress to even be considering any issues related to peoples living arrangements. But, that aside, Josh Chafetz makes it clear that the approach hastert and company are trying to use is itself unconstitutional.