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The "Hidden" Cost Of Privacy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the if-you-can't-handle-it-get-out-of-the-business dept.

Privacy 217

Schneier points out an article from a while back in Forbes about the "hidden" cost of privacy and how expensive it can be to comply with all the various overlapping privacy laws that don't necessarily improve anyone's privacy. "What this all means is that protecting individual privacy remains an externality for many companies, and that basic market dynamics won't work to solve the problem. Because the efficient market solution won't work, we're left with inefficient regulatory solutions. So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?"

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217 comments

Here's how: (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336997)

1. Fake own death
2. ???
3. Private!

Re:Here's how: (4, Funny)

Logical Zebra (1423045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337039)

1. Fake own death

Well, it worked for Elvis.

Re:Here's how: (1, Interesting)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337081)

Privacy and transparency are contrary goals. Given the choice, I choose transparency. Privacy should end.

Re:Here's how: (5, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337161)

Privacy for individuals. Transparency for state.

Re:Here's how: (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337307)

Privacy for individuals. Transparency for state.

Except that "the State" is merely an abstract concept for certain actions of individuals, not some concrete thing that exists independently of any individuals.

Re:Here's how: (5, Insightful)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337401)

Privacy for individuals. Transparency for state.

Except that "the State" is merely an abstract concept for certain actions of individuals, not some concrete thing that exists independently of any individuals.

Those individuals that comprise "the state" should also have the right to privacy, but not in their profession as public servants. Whatever they do in their jobs should be open for anyone to observe, even if their private lives shouldn't.

Re:Here's how: (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337837)

Correct!

And to help simplify things, rather than this hodge-podge of laws. Just make one. Without expressed permission of the individual, none of their personally identifiable information can be transmitted/transferred between companies.

The information about an individual should be the property of the individual, not the company (or govt. agency) that holds and collects it.

Re:Here's how: (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337889)

Without expressed permission of the individual, none of their personally identifiable information can be transmitted/transferred between companies.

What about between people that are not companies?

Re:Here's how: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338073)

As opposed to people that ARE companies?

Re:Here's how: (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338123)

IANAL. company==person that is a company. Or at least that's what the law says, but it's notoriously inconsistent with reality so...

Re:Here's how: (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338109)

Without expressed permission of the individual, none of their personally identifiable information can be transmitted/transferred between other people.

What about between people that are not companies?

There, fixed that for both of you. IANAL, but IIRC companies are people under the law. Also, WTF does "expressed permission" mean? As opposed to ... "impressed permission"? Was that supposed to say "express written permission"?

Re:Here's how: (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338217)

There, fixed that for both of you.

So no person can mention personally identifiable information about another person to any third person without express consent of the identified person? So a victim of crime who knows their attacker can't give the name to the police without the attacker's consent?

Re:Here's how: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338079)

Without expressed permission of the individual, none of their personally identifiable information can be transmitted/transferred between companies.

Question: if I work for Company A, and I phone a friend who works for Company B to tell him that I spotted a mutual acquaintance of ours at the mall on the weekend, but I don't first obtain permission from that acquaintance to transmit personally identifiable information between companies, have I broken this law?

What if it's just idle gossip between two friends about another? And what if it's not? What if our jobs involve monitoring people's shopping habits for advertising purposes? What if the acquaintance is someone we both know as a result of monitoring their shopping habits professionally? Where, exactly, do you draw the line between idle gossip amongst friends and businesses trading personally identifiable information? Or do you draw that line? If not, are you essentially suggesting that we outlaw all discussion of other people?

Re:Here's how: (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338171)

Without expressed permission of the individual, none of their personally identifiable information can be transmitted/transferred between companies.

The end result will simply be that every business makes you give express permission to do all of that before they will do business with you, which will put us back to square one - either live in the woods and don't do business with anyone or bend over and take it.

Personally, I would rather see a reduction of laws and policies that hurt privacy - like the law that prevents you from purchasing pseudofed over the counter without giving up your personal information to the pharmacist who is pretty much free to do whatever they want with it after they send it in to the feds. Or the policy of the post office to sell lists of everybody who files a change of address form just to get their mail forwarded. Or the policy of a lot of state DMVs to sell lists of people who have driver's licenses along with their photos, addresses and ages.

You are wrong. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337403)

Yes, it is.

Transparency for the state means transparency on laws as they are prepared, transparency towards regulatory bodies of those laws, etc... It means that the rules that state officials prepare and their work is fully transparent.

Still, the said officials can retain the full privacy of everything that isn't directly work related (IE. What they do on their time off work, what they do during their lunch breaks, whose photo they have in their wallet and what bodyparts have they pierced...)

State is indeed some concrete thing, independent from individuals. Ideal situation is that state represents the masses but it never represents the individuals.

Re:You are wrong. (5, Interesting)

cencithomas (721581) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337567)

Still, the said officials can retain the full privacy of everything that isn't directly work related (IE. What they do on their time off work, what they do during their lunch breaks, whose photo they have in their wallet and what bodyparts have they pierced...)

but but but!... If public servants' privacy off-hours is strictly defended (and I'm not saying it shouldn't be), how does the public keep politicians from using their 'private' time to cut back-room deals on public legislation? Just trust their say-so on the matter?

Re:You are wrong. (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337603)

Transparency for the state means transparency on laws as they are prepared, transparency towards regulatory bodies of those laws, etc...

Tranparency on voting on public initiatives and referenda? (That's, after all, part of the process of making laws.) Transparency on voting for public officials (after all, choosing lawmakers is part of making law.)

It means that the rules that state officials prepare and their work is fully transparent.

So, no private personnel matters (including health matters) for any public employee?

And does the rule for "state officials" apply only to public employees, or does it apply to contractors as well?

State is indeed some concrete thing, independent from individuals.

No, its not. Its an abstract concept with a fuzzy boundary, and is, in any case, comprised of, not independent from, individuals.

The idea of "privacy for individuals, transparency for the State" is perhaps a useful starting point in determining how to balance the fundamentally conflicting goals of privacy and transparency, but its just that--a starting point in how to balance conflicting interests--not some kind of clear answer.

Re:You are wrong. (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338007)

So, no private personnel matters (including health matters) for any public employee?

I don't consider health matters private. Why should I care who knows about my injuries and ailments?

Re:You are wrong. (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338137)

I don't consider health matters private.

I would submit that many people who would state "privacy for individuals" as an important goal would see health matters as a particularly important part of that.

But, certainly, that particular one of the many issues raised by the "privacy for individuals, transparency for government" idea becomes easier if you just simply decide that, even for individuals, health privacy isn't important.

Re:You are wrong. (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338179)

What if you have disease foo? Do you want everyone to know? What if there's a social stigma or something?? What if you're not a slashdotter and actually have lots of friends and you don't want them to know about disease foo???

Re:Here's how: (1)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337499)

You can't really be that obtuse. The government is made up of individuals, but they are easily identifiable, and the distinction between their private lives and their official actions is quite clear.

So, why can't we have both personal privacy and governmental transparency?

-Peter

Re:Here's how: (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337849)

The government is made up of individuals, but they are easily identifiable

Easily identifiable? On one level, all citizens comprise the government and participate in it (as voters, or potential voters, jurors, grand jurors, etc.) One could define the government more narrowly as those employed by public agencies, but then is the boundary "regular" employment, or does it include contractors? Are corporations (which are not individuals but creations of law -- and, therefore, the government) public or private? If corporations are private (as I suspect most would say) what about public-private hybrid agencies, government-owned corporations? (examples being the Federal Reserve Banks, the U.S. Postal Service, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation ["Amtrak"])?

and the distinction between their private lives and their official actions is quite clear.

Is voting a matter of "private lives" that should be secret, or "official action" that should be transparent? Is the answer different if the voting is in an election for a government official, or if it is voting directly on a law (as would be the case for a public initiative or referendum)?

What about grand jury deliberations?

What about requests by a rank-and-file public employee to their supervisor for time off because they are undergoing a medical procedure, and the documentation supporting that request?

Re:Here's how: (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338039)

The government is made up of individuals, but they are easily identifiable, and the distinction between their private lives and their official actions is quite clear.

The point of not allowing a private life is preventing back-room deals and the like.

Re:Here's how: (4, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337323)

Privacy for individuals. Transparency for state.

Also glass windows. Windows should definitely be transparent. If they aren't, you need some windex. Otherwise you'll run into hidden costs, like maybe there's a hundred dollars outside your house and you didn't see it because the window was too dirty and it blew away.

Re:Here's how: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337847)

In a world without fences and walls, who needs windows and gates?

Re:Here's how: (2, Insightful)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338207)

In a world without fences and walls, who needs windows and gates?

Personally I could do without Windoze and Gates.

Re:Here's how: (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337543)

Privacy for individuals. Transparency for state.

Recipe for conspiracy. Just add bastards. For that reason I won't support it or respect it, regardless of any threats made by the state.

Re:Here's how: (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338023)

Privacy is a stopgap measure for preventing oppression. When some people have greater access to information and ability to act on it than others, they have an unfair advantage. The right to privacy is an attempt to combat this unfairness. If everyone had equal access to information, privacy would be unnecessary, because no on could use information against you unfairly without the attempt being known. The real problem with the notion of privacy is that it requires people to give up their natural ability to sense their own environment for a negotiated right not to have their information used against them.

Regulations: simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337557)

Simple regulation:

Just arrange the law such that companies MUST, with every request for personal information, also provide the information on how to sue them for breach of privacy.

Fear of being sued would allow the market to "fix" it from there.

Re:Here's how: (3, Insightful)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337167)

Agreed - the government should be transparent, and its dealings should be public and open.

Private lives, however, literally require privacy.

Re:Here's how: (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337205)

Privacy for whom? Are you talking about the individual, corporations or government? Transparency for corporations and the government are very important. We don't need laws or regulations to get it we need the people to turn off the TV and start demanding it.

Re:Here's how: (3, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337611)

It's a pretty simple equation, really:

As power increases, so should transparency.

The more people to whom you are accountable, the more transparent your organization should be. Of course there are occasions upon which certain, highly-accountable things need to be temporarily withheld from disclosure, but they should be explicitly reasoned and have a timeline for their eventual dissemination to those holding them accountable.

Re:Here's how: (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337459)

1. Fake own death

Well, it worked for Elvis.

Privacy and transparency are contrary goals. Given the choice, I choose transparency. Privacy should end.

Obviously privacy didn't work for Elvis, but are you saying that Elvis is now fully transparent... as in, he's a ghost?

Re:Here's how: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338019)

Privacy and Security on contrary Political goals, in that case I choose Privacy.

Re:Here's how: (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337327)

It didn't work for Earl.

Easy answer (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337571)

From teh OP-

Because the efficient market solution won't work, we're left with inefficient regulatory solutions. So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?

How about by setting your privacy policies to exceed what is strictly required by law?

Oh Noes, it can't be that- conservatives don't believe in a right to privacy, so our information has to be held hostage by people who view it as their property.

piracy? oh, privacy (1)

Cormacus (976625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337067)

I looked at the title and read it "The 'Hidden' Cost of Piracy." Indicative of the type of articles I expect to see on /. these days?

Re:piracy? oh, privacy (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337461)

I looked at the title and read it "The 'Hidden' Cost of Piracy." Indicative of the type of articles I expect to see on /. these days?

It would have to have been "The 'Hidden' Benefits of Piracy" if it was going to ever make it through the editors.

Nothing to fear .... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337079)

...if you have nothing to hide. Haha...tell that to Iranians...or the Burmese...I'd say they have plenty to fear and hide from their governments...quite justifiably. Oh, is this offtopic? f*** offtopic moderation!!!! how's this: LINUX SUX. Geeks are responsible for fascist oppression! Now I can be a troll...cuz I trollin' trollin' trollin'...that's the way I be rollin' rollin' rollin.

Re:Nothing to fear .... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337197)

LINUX SUX
x = x+1;

LINSUX
x += 1;

Simplify, simplify my dear troll. But yes, Linux does indeed suck the balls and the ass.

Re:Nothing to fear .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337485)

I'm the troll from above...man, clearly what I wrote wasn't really that funny (yours was, btw)...but when I clearly write "I am trolling" to indicate my half-assed attempt at irony, why all the hate? (not from you, but from the mods.) Haha...not that I care....

But seriously, with regard to my out of line post above, Linux is kind of problematic and has some serious kernel design flaws at a fundamental level (it's more than just having to compile each version anew or having an unfriendly GUI overlay). These flaws, according to many respected thinkers, are most probably the result of the significant number of coders with asperger's syndrome who work on open source software. I mean, this 'OS' may 'work' for their dedicated, focused minds, but hey, though they could care less, there are OTHER people in the world who need to use a computer! Until more "mainstream" coders can be enticed to join open source, it will never go anywhere

Hmm...was that a bit better of an effort? (don't be offended by the above...*I* myself have one of those focused minds that gets preoccupied with detail...but my obsession is trolling...I may not feel your annoyance, but I sure find it funny...and my therapist calls this "progress") ;-)

Re:Nothing to fear .... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337839)

I'm the person who responded to your troll with that code troll, and I thank you for your compliment.

Trolling Slashdot is the trolls' therapy. Personally, I find that displacing my worldly frustrations across a bunch of anonymous dorks is preferable to beating my wife and kids(or Mexicans).

Nothing beats the chuckle I get from my first "NIGGER" comment modded down because some pantywaist lacks a sense of humor. Double laughs for people who actually post "Slashdot should get rid of AC" complaints about trolls running rampant. FUCK 'EM.

Jews (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337119)

Jews steal land and water.

Re:Jews (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337145)

From filthy Palestinians, so I don't see anything wrong with it.

Re:Jews (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337729)

That's because you are a Jew.

There's a reason that the whole world has hated Jews for thousands of years.

Schneier the capitalist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337181)

Well, I see that Bruce Schneier has been indoctrinated into the "capitalism is most efficient" cult, just like every other American.

Newsflash - there's no such thing as an "efficient" market, and capitalism is never sustainable over the long term. Markets must be managed by a strong central regulatory authority.

So American's were completely brainwashed by the Reagan years, it's hilarious. Free markets are efficient! BAHAHAHA

Re:Schneier the capitalist (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337283)

Markets must be managed by a strong central regulatory authority.

Yeah, worked well for the Russians.

Re:Schneier the capitalist (1)

sharp-bang (311928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337331)

No, a firm regulatory hand is materially different from a command economy. Ask any Eastern European who sells into the EU.

Re:Schneier the capitalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337493)

Free markets *are* efficient -- it's the fundamental state of affairs for any market. By definition sellers and buyers in a free market are not acting out of any coercion or under the influence of fraud, but are free to make only the deals they feel are mutually beneficial.

Unfortunately profit motive can destroy free markets, and all recent examples of capitalism are driven by profit motive -- if there's collusion among a small number of providers, or the current providers form barriers to entry (via new "regulatory" legislation, for example) the market is no longer free, and no longer subject to the same forces of efficiency.

It might seem like a minor distinction, but if you're going to accuse Americans of misunderstanding economic philosophies you should probably avoid conflating them yourself.

Re:Schneier the capitalist (1, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337789)

Free markets *are* efficient -- it's the fundamental state of affairs for any market.

That is not universally accepted [wikipedia.org] . In order for markets to be efficient, everyone must (1) be rational (but people are known to often not be rational), and (2) have perfect information (but information is expensive to obtain, verify, and sort through... at what point does the cost of obtaining better information outweigh the benefit of obtaining that information?).

Re:Schneier the capitalist (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337687)

So American's were completely brainwashed by the Reagan years

American's WHAT were brainwashed? Oh, I see, you simply don't understand how to use an apostrophe. Understandable since English is probably not your first language.

Not all of us are Reaganites. His slashing the capital gains tax hurt a LOT of ordinary, non-rich workers when it unleashed a flurry of corporate buyouts and sellouts, which resulted in workers being laid off or hours cut.

And wealth doesn't trickle down, it flows up. The programmer, bricklayer, songwriter, carpenter, laboror creates wealth. His employer simply aggregates and controls it. Cutting taxes on the poor and middle class helps the economy, cutting taxes on the upper class hurts it.

Re:Schneier the capitalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338091)

It's worth pointing out that under the Reagan administration, the overall size of government, measured both in revenue and power over the people, was expanded rather than reduced. This is in stark contrast to how Reagan himself sold his politics ("government is the problem, not the solution").

After all, Reagan was in the business of government, and he absolutely succeeded in making that business more a more lucrative business than it was when he started. The same could be said of nearly every administration, of course, but it is particularly amusing when a man who claims to stand for limited government succeeds big-time in doing the exact opposite.

Any American who was "brainwashed" during the Reagan years is a moron indeed.

Privacy cost beyond market efficiency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337237)

Reframe this debate into the cost of doing business in a democracy.

Ubiquitous networks capture data from home address to everyday transactions in detail. Private informations accumulate. Markets function on personal information. The expectation of privacy, its protection and concommitant personal security relying upon privacy regulation is a straw man standing in-place of an individual right.

Simply raising the strawman argument that your right to privacy is political, denigrates its consititutional status to regulatory statute.

Either the right to privacy is immutatable, codified in the constitution or too expensive? Reframe this debate into the cost of doing business in a democracy.

Re:Privacy cost beyond market efficiency (4, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337347)

Unfortunately, not all of us live in a Democracy. We Americans, for example, live an a Plutocratic Republic that pretends to be a Democracy.

Go ahead, Ferengi, mod me down for expressing an honest opinion that happens to be true. When the Corporation can "donate" a thousand bucks to the Republican and another grand to the Democrat, it doesn't matter which candidate loses, the corporation wins.

Re:Privacy cost beyond market efficiency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337713)

When the Corporation can "donate" a thousand bucks to the Republican and another grand to the Democrat, it doesn't matter which candidate loses, the corporation wins.

The corporation wins, assuming that the voters choose to vote for those two parties. that's a pretty safe assumption, but it's not totally guaranteed. If the people ever decide that they would prefer to not give all their political power to that corporation, then the corporation loses.

This crap only happens because we want it to. Almost nobody ever votes against it. If you based your vote on who had the best corporate backing, then please stop bitching about the choice that you made.

Re:Privacy cost beyond market efficiency (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337917)

Personally, I almost always vote for a "third party" candidate, but the corporate media refuses to cover the Libertarians, Constitutionalists, and... um, what party did McKinney run under, I forgot? Anyway, there were five parties on ballots in enough states that mathematically any of five could have won the last Presidential election. But the MSM never covered them. People tend to vote for candidates they've actually heard of and know at least a little about.

And then there's the fact that the corporate media have convinced most voters that a vote for anybody but the Repubs and the Dems is somehow wasted. Personally, I think if you smoke pot, hire hookers, or gamble, a vote for a Repub or a Dem is worse than wasted. What moron votes for a man who wants to put him in prison??

MOD PARENT DOWN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337873)

He asked for it.

Ferengi (3, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337247)

"What this all means is that protecting individual privacy remains an externality for many companies, and that basic market dynamics won't work to solve the problem.

Most problems, even when you're talking about business, cannot be solved by the free market. Privacy problems could be solved by legislation and/or regulation, but unfortunately governments care even less about your privacy than the corporate Ferengi do.

"Free market" is an oxymoron. Anyone who believes it can solve all the world's problems is just a moron.

Re:Ferengi (4, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337855)

"Free market" is an oxymoron. Anyone who believes it can solve all the world's problems is just a moron.

On the other hand, a well-designed market is one of the most effective machines for achieving as close to Pareto-optimal results as anyone has ever found. Well-designed markets are actually able to achieve the state that socialist managers of the economy should be aiming for, and they do it much more reliably and cheaply than socialist managers have ever been able to achieve. And they do this despite having right-wing nitwits on one side who think that any regulatory or legal oversight is somehow a violation of their god-given right to screw people over, and left-wing nitwits on the other side who believe that markets are somehow the agents of satan, rather than just a particularly good social management tool.

It's unfortunate that so many on the left take the right-wing nutjob view of markets seriously, because if you adopt the view of markets as just an ordinary tool of neo-socialist economic management you can find a whole lot of ways to deploy them usefully to achieve efficient allocation of limited resources across the whole economy. Well-designed markets can't solve all the world's problems, but neither can anything else, and markets have a long history of solving problems more effectively than most of the alternatives.

Begging the proposition. (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337255)

It's funny that one could look at this and say the markets don't work. The markets ARE working and that most people don't actually care about privacy.

If people -cared- about privacy, they would be willing to pay for the extra care it takes to ensure that their data is private. But, we live in a world where most people really don't care so much if everyone else knows what they are doing, so long as they are not confronted with it, or misuse the information.

Like, if you told someone at a grocery store that, to get their "club card" savings, the store would know exactly what they bought, they would say, they probably didn't care. Now, if they got a letter from the grocery store saying, "hey, since you like strawberries, you might like our sale on blueberries", they might dig that too. And, if they got junk mail from blueberry and strawberry growers, even that might be ok. But, if they got an email saying, "hey, you are killing humanity because you are eating strawberries and your preference for red fruit makes you some kind of a communist", then they would be pissed off.

Bottom line is, people don't care about privacy, but they do care about having their personal information being used to hurt them. It's pretty much the 5th amendment proposition, writ large and writ everywhere. Nothing is really private, but, you can't have your personal information be used to attack you, and that is what the market reflects.

Re:Begging the proposition. (2, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337475)

However your worst case scenario would have a backlash effect. People would avoid using that that store to prevent institution. So the store will either face closing down, or be more particular to who they give information too.

We actually have a lot more privacy shopping now then we ever did. Back in them old days you go to the mom and pop store they know who you are and are often hubs of gossip. So the entire community would know what stuff you are buying and make guesses on why you are buying such things.

Today we are just a number most of the data goes back and forth without a person analysis the data. Customer 24601 has purchased strawberries consistently throwout the month of June and July. Statistics show that people like Strawberries and blueberries, so lets give Customer 24601 a coupon for blueberries. Kinda heartless and calculating, but most individuals don't care about your data as your self but in aggregate. But back in them old days your data was about you and the aggregate was to complex to calculate.

Re:Begging the proposition. (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337599)

It's funny that one could look at this and say the markets don't work. The markets ARE working and that most people don't actually care about privacy.

The problem with your statement is that markets only work when there is freely available knowledge. In the case of privacy, I would say that the markets are "working" not because people don't care, but rather that they don't know. So it is not really a free market scenario that they are entering into.

If I offered you a service and didn't mention the punch in the head I would also give you, then are you taking up that service because you don't care about being punched in the head?

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337655)

The problem with your statement is that markets only work when there is freely available knowledge.

Most people assume that they are being monitored or tracked anyway, just because computerization is so pervasive. I think some opinions to the contrary might be more their projection on people, than any reality. "If they only knew..." has a tinge of fanaticism to it that most people don't have.

If I offered you a service and didn't mention the punch in the head I would also give you, then are you taking up that service because you don't care about being punched in the head?

I would assume that if I went to buy a cup of soup from you, and you punched me in the head, that I probably would not buy soup from you any more.
Therefor, if people are getting punched in the head, they don't care.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337909)

I still believe that most people are ignorant of being tracked, rather than assuming they are and being powerless to stop it. I think this because people in general have little comprehension of anything that is not in their immediate world - for example manually setting a VCR time. Technically a simple system to set up but seemingly beyond a lot of people. So how do you explain to them about the extent and possibilities of tracking systems which are hugely more complex in operation?

To add onto my "punch in the head" argument, I think it should be better stated as "a punch in the head at some indeterminate time in the future". So there is no immediate feedback to correct the market. Thus people will keep doing business with me while I abide my time before I come out punching.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338063)

Technically a simple system to set up but seemingly beyond a lot of people

Not really, I mean, the question with VCR times is, why bother doing it. The only reason you needed a VCR to have the right time in it would be if you used the time shifting features it had, but most people bought VCRs to watch movies with, not record them. They only wanted to know that they could record... a fact since born out by knowing that DVD players outsell time shifting things like TIVO by a fairly wide margin.

Re:Begging the proposition. (2, Insightful)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337951)

I would assume that if I went to buy a cup of soup from you, and you punched me in the head, that I probably would not buy soup from you any more.
Therefor, if people are getting punched in the head, they don't care.

But what if the punch is delivered 3 days later, by someone not affiliated with me at all? In fact, the only thing I did was tell them that you bought soup from me. And then they come up and punch you in the head. It's directly because you bought soup from me, but you've no way of knowing without a lot of effort, even if you have a clue on where to start on figuring it out.

That's how corporate privacy invasion works. You give data to a few people in some manner, then they give it to someone else, who then uses it in some way to screw you over in some fashion.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338031)

In fact, the only thing I did was tell them that you bought soup from me. And then they come up and punch you in the head. It's directly because you bought soup from me, but you've no way of knowing without a lot of effort, even if you have a clue on where to start on figuring it out.

Boy uh, that's a stretch.

That's how corporate privacy invasion works. You give data to a few people in some manner, then they give it to someone else, who then uses it in some way to screw you over in some fashion.

What's the punch? Like, if GM knows that I like American cars, and sells it to everyone, than, what's the harm? If anything, I'm getting free advertising for my way of life.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337733)

Bullshit.

People do care about privacy. Your example is lame in that it excuses (ignores) the deliberately obfuscated consequences of "agreeing" to the terms attached to the club card "deal". If the supermarket told their customers, right up front, something like "...and in addition to using it for our own marketing purposes, we will be selling the information we collect about you and your shopping habits to as many takers as we can scare up, and there are plenty of them.", I'd hazard that far fewer customers would take the "deal". And let's not even waste time discussing those companies that have no compunction at all when it comes to reserving the right to "...change the terms of this agreement at any time..." in the way-fine print of the agreement.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337785)

Nothing is really private, but, you can't have your personal information be used to attack you, and that is what the market reflects.

Unfortunately, the only way to enforce this type of scheme is through court cases after the fact... "don't ask, don't tell" is far more efficient.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337829)

Having your privacy invaded is so profitable to the ne'er do wells that you can't pay them enough not to do it.

Letting the market sort things out neglects the fact that people who are powerful enough can, will, and even do lie, cheat, and steal.

Since everyone does it, there's really not much benefit to switching, since you likely gain little.

Case in point: CBS's subsidiary getting snookered into passing off private information through CBS only for it to be dumped into the hands of the RIAA.

And by the time your privacy is breached, it is too late for you to "shop elsewhere", because the damage has already been done.

Re:Begging the proposition. (1, Interesting)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337857)

You are right that most people don't care about their privacy, but then again, if you ask people if they want to pay 20% less for a car if it had no airbags or seatbelts or anti-lock brakes, they may have no problem with it. However, the cost to society in the form of radically more serious injuries makes sense for the market to have these rules in the long run.

The costs and benefits of privacy regulation can certainly be debated. But without regulations, markets don't function well, since they are not self-aware or interested in self-preservation. For reference, move to Somalia.

You can make the argument whether regulations should extend beyond standardization, but it's a relatively simple choice as far as I'm concerned. The market solution for salmonella poisoning would be that a bunch of people would die, and people would avoid buying products from the same company, until the next round of deaths occur. The scary communist solution is to demand outside inspections from a third party - the best option being the government.

Now, why is the government a good idea? Because people without money can compel it to be transparent. If you had a private party doing the inspections, you could not review their actions. All of the criticism of the FDA is possibly only because as a state entity, it must be transparent.

Re:Begging the proposition. (2, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338185)

However, the cost to society in the form of radically more serious injuries makes sense for the market to have these rules in the long run.

Does it? The fact of the matter is that all of the safety devices on cars have probably doubled the price of cars, and yet, the greatest thing that has lowered the fatalities has been better driver education, not any of the tech goodies. If you had a car without any safety devices whatsoever, you would have car payments 1/2 of what they are today, allowing for people to save more for college, lower their debt, get themselves out of poverty, but instead, your artificial regulatory price increases just keeps making poverty worse.

The scary communist solution is to demand outside inspections from a third party - the best option being the government.

The problem with your whole point is that you would assume that the government would, in fact, actually do the inspections. What would really happen is that the government would not do the inspections, people would still die of Salmonella, and then the problem would restated as a request for more public funds.

Now, why is the government a good idea? Because people without money can compel it to be transparent. If you had a private party doing the inspections, you could not review their actions. All of the criticism of the FDA is possibly only because as a state entity, it must be transparent.

Government is completely non-transparent and non-accountable, that's the whole point. Why should the FDA be transparent? It's not like there's another FDA. The fact is, its not.

Simple solution (5, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337293)

Define the ownership of personal data to include the person whom the data applies to.

If I enter into a business relationship with someone else, all the information I provide should be considered to be co-owned by both of us. Any subsequent sharing of that information with a third party should involve both the consent of both of us as well as sharing the proceeds of that subsequent exchange. When the costs of managing such transactions are factored in, far fewer of them would occur.

The idea that anyone complains about the costs of complying with such regulations puzzles me. I mean, I could start a business stealing cars and then complain that the costs of complying with auto theft laws were onerous and harming the profitability of my enterprise. Tough sh*t. Its all based on fundamental property rights. Just because someone has developed a business model based upon a legal oversight doesn't legitimize their complaint when the law catches up and plugs the loophole.

Re:Simple solution (2, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337427)

I don't think adding another class of "Intellectual Property" will make things more efficient. Just the opposite. And all the usual complaints against Intellectual Property would apply to this "ownership of private information", too. Some problems that come to mind:

1. It would be difficult to define and easy to use such laws to sue to an over-reaching extent.
2. As with many laws, it favors the rich and powerful (people or corporate) because they have the means to sue exhaustively.
3. Corporations are considered legal "persons" in some ways. If such a law applied to corporate information, this could be disastrous.
4. The rich and powerful (e.g. politicians) would use this to block transparency and get away with more than they already do.
5. Much of public knowledge would become illegal, or at least regulated.
6. Transaction costs for any customer interaction would increase dramatically, since even information like a name or address would seem to be implicated.

I'm sure there are plenty of others that could be added to this list. I don't think defining new kinds of ethereal property is the way to go...

Re:Simple solution (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337913)

1. It would be difficult to define and easy to use such laws to sue to an over-reaching extent.
2. As with many laws, it favors the rich and powerful (people or corporate) because they have the means to sue exhaustively.

Not really. Using current property law removes the issue of civil suits. Following my obligatory bad car analogy, stealing a poor person's old beater earns the thief the same penalties as stealing a rich guy's Beemer.

3. Corporations are considered legal "persons" in some ways. If such a law applied to corporate information, this could be disastrous.

Time to fix this loophole. If a corporation is a person, then why can't it go to prison for a felony? Why is there no corporate death penalty? A corporation is a creation of the state. As such, it shouldn't have powers that the state does not possess. I have some rights to be secure in my property and papers from aqusition by the state without due process. So why is the state running around creating entities not bound by these same restrictions? If a corporation wants to define itself as a person, then it should lose the shield of limited liability, just like a sole proprietor.

4. The rich and powerful (e.g. politicians) would use this to block transparency and get away with more than they already do.
5. Much of public knowledge would become illegal, or at least regulated.

Quite the opposite. We (the public) own that information. If politicians (entrusted with managing our property) choose to distribute it selectively, then the rest of us should be compensated for such an uneven distribution. Want to keep publicly funded research out of the hands of the public? Its going to cost you extra.

6. Transaction costs for any customer interaction would increase dramatically, since even information like a name or address would seem to be implicated.

Which transaction? The data exchanged between myself and a business as a part of some transaction would proceed as it does now. What would (and should) 'cost more', is the subsequent exchange of that information with some third party. Its like me putting money in a bank. Its still my money. I'm just entrusting that bank with its safekeeping. When they turn around and use it for their own benefit (making loans), the result to me is that I receive interest on my deposit. Why shouldn't information be treated the same way? In fact, the company has already profited once from that exchange of data (when we did business). And if all of that is too much for them to handle, there's always the option of an anonymous sale. Once the deal is done (with the possibility of transaction being managed by some trusted third party), I walk away with the product and they walk away with the cash and no data.

Re:Simple solution (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337639)

No one is forcing you to share CORRECT information with the people you enter into a business relationship with. The only reliable data they have on you is the record of what you have actually purchased from them, along with the delivery and billing info. Your name, age, and address should have no market value at all, since they are available for free for every registered voter.

I agree with you, though -- I should get a cut of any profits made by selling my information.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338275)

I should get a cut of any profits made by selling my information.

Except that you're say... 1 in 100,000 entries in a database. Say a company pays $100 for access to the database (just blindly throwing numbers out there for the sake of argument). The TOTAL value on your entry will be 0.1 cents. The 'profit' even less. Getting a 'cut' of that profit... the cost of the paper used in the cheque would be worth more than your 'cut'. Maybe you could cut a deal where they could offer you one grass seed, provided you pick it up yourself.

Re:Simple solution (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337709)

If I enter into a business relationship with someone else, all the information I provide should be considered to be co-owned by both of us

I can't agree. I'm not giving that information away, I'm allowing him to use it. After all, if I buy a CD I don't own the song, now do I? No information I provide while doing business should be provided any thord party unless I explicitly allow it, and when my business relationship ends, any info I provided should be destroyed.

Markets? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337313)

So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?

You do it with a market of course.

Unfortunately that tends to mean a migration to places with essentially no regulation.

You don't? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337321)

So now the question becomes: how do we make regulation as efficient as possible?"

Ideally, you come up with a simple baseline standard, whether through harmonization of existing laws and policies or by determining exactly how much privacy we deserve and enforcing it across the board. Then you push the standard at the federal level.

In practice, they will do the above, but to a minimal standard that is riddled with loopholes and overriding state laws that offer greater protection.

It's comparable to the security vs. convenience problem. There's a far greater cost to this patchwork system, and it's not nearly as good as it should be, but while it'd be far more convenient to harmonize everything the lobbyists will ensure the result will be evenly ineffective.

Privacy Costs the Consumer Directly Too (4, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337391)

There are even more direct costs for consumers who wish to maintain their privacy these days. For example, how many of you have signed up for the discount card at the supermarket or the "rewards card" at any number of other businesses? Unless you have taken other steps which also cost money, such as arranging a mail drop or renting a PO Box, you have essentially "sold" your privacy in exchange for a discount on purchases. Those of us who value our privacy and wish to maintain it are frequently compelled to forgo such discounts or else pay, in time, money or effort, to set up specialized fronts to protect our "true" identities (i.e. the mail drop, aliases, corporate credit card, etc). Perhaps privacy was less expensive in the distant past, but in modern society preserving it effectively is becoming ever more labor intensive and expensive. In fact, the invasion of our privacy is now so pervasive that people give strange looks to those of us who decline to be part of "rewards", club cards, and other privacy invasive schemes in exchange for discounts; as if they cannot understand why someone wouldn't fill out a card with their real name, address, SSN, and mother's maiden name in exchange for a $5 discount.

CISP\HIPPA Compliancy (4, Insightful)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337423)

You have:

SOX, CISP, GLBA, HIPPA as the most expensive for corporations. I can speak to CISP and HIPPA from a professional standpoint. The others I cannot.

CISP compliance has a serious impact in that test environments cannot use raw customer data for testing for banks. Sanitized data must be used in test environments normally. In the event of a product fix that needs to be testing back in a test environment offshore resources for instance cannot have access to those environments and the data must be documented and exist only for a limited time. Pulling 20,000 records for testing for instance may take 4-6 hours pre-CISP but post CISP the sanitization process may push that out to 5-10 hours. If you are attempting to do that process in the evening, with only a 6 to 8 hour window CISP meant that many had to beef up their systems to ensure the process was complete within the window. For smaller banks the costs must have been harsh. Updating software, policies and procedures can easily rack up a 6000 labor hours in the first year.

On average CISP complaince can double the turn around time of a production fix (say 20-60 hours of labor) into 40-80 hours for turn around. YOu have an entire chain of events that fire off and kicking out certain staff due to the existence of customer information takes time with SAPs, VPN connectivity, etc... Great for the customer, I cannot argue it, but expensive.

HIPPA I can speak to growing up in hospitals and clinics as well as painting in those locations part time. Part of the requirement that I see directly is, if I have to paint a clinic or office the clinic staff (not I the painter) has to go through and ensure that ANY AND ALL patient documentation is out of sight prior to me starting. HIPPA has too many "reasonable" language mistakes in it as who defines "reasonable"? The judge? Lawyers? JACO? Who? So paranoia is high with patient data (as it should be.) But getting staff to lock all that up prior to maintenance adds time.

Another hidden factor is space. A clinic now has to try and keep other patients out of ear shot pushing the lobby out farther.

Further segragation of roles and even something as simple as those privacy screens add up. In a typical hospital with 200 computers in it let us say, means at $10 bucks a screen you have $2000 in new expenses.

I've seen a few locations require the inter-office mail couriers to have locked boxes while moving around the facility. Those have to cost at least $350 bucks a box for those.

Now all those HIPPA forms are going to double if not triple the amount of paper you are ordering. Liability and insured communications also increase costs and add delays. More cerified mail goes out now as far as I can see since HIPPA also.

One thing to keep in mind is that ANY GOVERMENT COMPLIANCE that exists is disporotionally expensive to smaller organizations. SOX killed a lot of smaller corporations due to the cost of compliance. The smallest get exemptions, the largest can afford it, it's the mid-size businesses that get crushed.

Re:CISP\HIPPA Compliancy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337623)

SOX/SAS 70 costs can - in certain ways - be passed on to the client, just like we did when the government mandated the 834 file format. And "HIPPA" is spelled "HIPAA" (health insurance portability and accountability act).

Re:CISP\HIPPA Compliancy (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337897)

SOX killed a lot of smaller corporations due to the cost of compliance.

[citation needed]

Sounds right (1)

cybereal (621599) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337443)

Well at least it is hidden, that's what the privacy advocates wanted right?

Efficiency (2, Insightful)

tnmc (446963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337457)

"Because the efficient market solution won't work, we're left with inefficient regulatory solutions."

What a load of clap-trap...read this and ignored the rest of the article as it's obvious they don't understand economics.

Re:Efficiency (3, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338061)

What a load of clap-trap...read this and ignored the rest of the article as it's obvious they don't understand economics

I don't think economists understand economics. If they did, why did they let the world's economy melt down?

I'm reminded of a Dilbert cartoon from last month, "the MBA vs the crazy old witch. MBA and COW are in PHB's office, and PHB says "well, spreadsheets don't lie... but neither does bat excrement. Tell me again, who ruined the economy? Was it witches?"

Better Regulation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337495)

Because as we've seen with healthcare, sometimes the free market simply does not work for a particular area.

creampiesurprise tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337565)

Help me understand why this was tagged creampiesurprise? Is there a joke I missed?

Re:creampiesurprise tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28337901)

Looks like guerrilla advertising to me. Not surprising, given the general spaminess of the Slashdot tag system.

Still kinda funny though, as it's advertising a porn site whose schtick is 1) hilariously fake, and 2) almost absurdly misogynistic in premise. It posits a situation where a woman somehow doesn't realize that precum leaking out during unprotected sex is nearly as bad as the actual "creampie." Thrown in some bad acting and you've got a niche for particularly gullible idiots.

Stop collecting unnecessary information (5, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337569)

If a company wants to reduce its costs for protecting private information, stop collecting the damn stuff in the first place. As a recent example, why do I need to register at a website just to listen to a few bird call recordings? Or give my (fictitious) name and address just to read an article?

Privacy (1)

Ceiynt (993620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337585)

If it is online, it is not secure in todays world.
Take all records off line. Require a photo be placed in the file at the home/main office you visit most. You must present a photo ID and signature for any transaction, and it must match what is in the profile, or the transaction/whatever will not be processed.
This is highly inconvienent to everyone involved, but will reduce security issues.
If it is online, it is not secure in todays world.
An individual, up to a government backed hack group, can break into your system. All that is required is time, or an idiot forgetting a laptop in the front seat of the car.
If it is online, it is not secure in todays world.
You can have privacy/security, or you can have easy. Pick one.

What a joke! Privacy? What privacy? (2, Interesting)

macbeth66 (204889) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337613)

As long as we allow the financial ( including Federal Taxes ) and medical industries to store and or retrieve our information at off-shore facilities ( like India and others ) we can not have any privacy. In fact, we are opening ourselves up to a greater risk of identity theft.

The rate of security breaches have not slowed down, we are just not hearing about them in the headlines. You have to search for them.

Shoot CEOs and CTOs on data breach. (0, Flamebait)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337795)

This might sound a bit draconian, but why not simply execute any CEO & CTO of companies / organisations that encounter major data breaches which could have been avoided (determined by an investigation)? That sure would improve the situation. (OK, large scale personal fines would also do).

if you want privacy (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337823)

you need to protect it yourself. of course, this makes living your life something of a hassle. yes, privacy has a cost

but i never understood the concept that you would trust the protection of your privacy to a government entity or a corporation. no matter how well-intentioned these entities might even be, doesn't it seem like a logical conflict to you?

if you put it out there, its out there. period, end of story. so if you want privacy DON'T PUT IT OUT THERE. no matter what safeguards, real or imagined, physical or legal, that help you sleep at night, real privacy begins and ends with your own personal behavior

Pure bullshit (5, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337877)

I see rationalization for government and business intrusion into private lives. 90% of the information requested and/or demanded by any given government agency or business is totally unnecessary. It is none of my phone company's business how many people live in the house, or might use the phone. It is none of my ISP's business how many computers I own, or how many of them might connect through the gateway, or even HOW they might connect. The government's preoccupation with the precise identification leads to requirements for fingerprints, DNA samples, and more. I once ordered a pizza, in person, with cash in hand, and the cashier insisted that she needed my phone number and address!! The stupid broad doesn't even need to know my NAME to trade a pizza for a twenty dollar bill!

In the article, a baker was entrusted with financial information of her clients. HOW FREAKING BOGUS!! To bake a wedding cake does NOT require storing my credit card information, or any other personal details.

Totally unnecessary information is harvested for the most trivial dealings. And, it's WRONG.

No government agency, and no business should request information that is not absolutely essential to perform the business at hand. Nor should they request any more information than they are willing and capable of storing in a SECURE manner. It is their RESPONSIBILITY to safeguard that information, it isn't some "expense", or an "option", it shouldn't be considered a "burden". If and when safeguarding information becomes an "expense", then it should be obvious that they are collecting unnecessary and trivial information.

TFA is bogus rationalization, and an attempt to get people to sympathize with some perceived need to dump privacy laws. Forbes and Lee Gomes should be slapped silly for even writing and printing the article.

Simple solution! (2, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28337899)

The problem is that we don't have enough regulations. If one regulation isn't working, slap another on top of it. Keep piling them up until the problem goes away. Remember, the government is our friend, and only sociopaths would object to more government involvement in their lives. ... but seriously folks...

The core problem is that the property rights around privacy are ill defined. Who owns the information? Regulations can be minimized while being more effective, if they addressed the property rights involved. While I don't think the information itself can be owned, the media upon which it resides can be. Your diary, your server, etc. For example, you don't own your address information, and cannot legitimately stop someone from disseminating that information ("Bob lives at 123 Main Street"), but that letter is your private property, and you should be able to sue the crap off anyone who opens it and reads the contents. Mail servers are typically the property of the ISP, but you are renting its use so your emails are as much your property as your clothes hanging in a closet of a rental apartment.

easy..... (1)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338033)

Live in small town, use cash. live simply. Try Amish style. Or stop caring; What's the worse that can happen? Hacked, credit gets bad? Bail the country. Go off grid. Lot's of options.

Commies! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28338129)

These Forbes guys are a bunch of pinko commie bastards!

"basic market dynamics won't work to solve the problem"

How anti-capitalist!

Cox Customer Support (1)

hoooocheymomma (1020927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338197)

They've got that privacy thing down!

I call them because my Internet connection is down. I verify my identity with them. "Do I have permission to access your account, sir?"

No, you don't. I expect you to investigate my connection problems without looking into my account. Furthermore, I do not grant you permission to access any other data on YOUR network either.

Thank you.

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