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FTC May Cast A Closer Eye On How Businesses Share Personal Data

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the you're-saying-you-didn't-read-the-even-finer-print dept.

Privacy 72

Personal information shared by users with corporate websites is nothing new; you probably routinely log in to sites to which you've provided information about your age and location, or provided a credit card number in order to buy merchandise. At least sometimes, some of that information is shared in ways that the typical user would probably neither anticipate nor appreciate. David Vladeck, new head of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection, has signaled recently that he's interested in tighter regulation of personal information shared online, even when it falls under the often-sweeping language of privacy agreements and sites' terms of use. An interview at the New York Times provides some insight into the regulatory environment that companies operating online may face in the course of the present administration — and it looks more stringent than online businesses have faced before, even while Vladeck shies away from saying that he supports "new rules."

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72 comments

Can someone please explain (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29004797)

how they use linux without any drivers that work? I can't print a damn thing!

Re:Can someone please explain (2, Funny)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004875)

Yeah, Linux works for all the rest of us. Every single one. You're the control group.

Re:Can someone please explain (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004929)

how they use linux without any drivers that work? I can't print a damn thing!

Notice the semantical difference between "I can not" and "it does not"?

Re:Can someone please explain (2, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005013)

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005115)

I am here to report a broken link! The website you provided me does not work.

System specs:
Intel Core Duo 2.4GHz
1 GB RAM
OS: Microsoft Windows XP

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005195)

install cups and foomatic filters and ghostscript-fonts, the open a terminal and do" sudo cupsd and then try that link again

Re:Can someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005269)

Mmm, pretty sure that's not going to work with his operating system ;-)

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005421)

oops, missed a few steps

remove windowsXP, install a complete GNU/Linux desktop including cups and foomatic filters and ghostscript-fonts, the open a terminal and do" sudo cupsd and then try that link again

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005471)

Indeed. In fact, I was surprised to find that CUPS worked on my Mac. I guess it makes sense since OS X is UNIX-based, but still..

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29007031)

What's more Apple owns it. [cups.org]

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

Snarf You (1285360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005239)

Did you try adding more memory?

Re:Can someone please explain (1, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005083)

You must be new here; on Slashdot, we are all capable of installing Linux and getting a printer working without breaking a sweat. But we won't tell you how, because learning how to do figure it out yourself that is more important that just having us tell you what to do.

Re:Can someone please explain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005463)

And that is exactly why Microsoft is more popular than Linux.

Re:Can someone please explain (3, Insightful)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005885)

Wouldn't it be fun if that's how they taught you a new language in schools?

Hand you an English to Chinese dictionary (but without phonetics) and then punch you in the face whenever you made a mistake?

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006019)

You must be new here; on Slashdot, we are all capable of installing Linux and getting a printer working without breaking a sweat. But we won't tell you how, because learning how to do figure it out yourself that is more important that just having us tell you what to do.

In other words, you don't know either.

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006909)

  1. Check your sarcasm meter, clearly it is malfunctioning
  2. I could not even begin to diagnose his printer problems with the details he gave. The post was appropriately modded Flamebait, because he is a troll.

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006973)

1. My sarcasm meter is working fine. Slashdot is just not a good conductor of sarcasm.

2. If he's a troll, why didn't they mod him troll instead of flamebait?

But that wasn't why I replied the way I did. I'm just really sensitive to people replying to questions with something that isn't even an attempt at an answer. And what drives me even more crazy than that is when they reply to an answer with a link to a Google search that supposedly will return the answer. As if we're just all supposed to depend on Google instead of a forum dedicated to the subject at hand. And you got modded Informative without actually providing any information. That's something other than sarcasm.

Re:Can someone please explain (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005491)

Well, let's start with the basics. Did you plug the goddamned printer in YOU MORON?!?!?!

(Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! What idiots - I intended to shout!)

I'm from the government... (2, Insightful)

gavron (1300111) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004825)

...and I'm here to help you protect your privacy.

Please show me your RFID passport, give your liquids to the nice man from the TSA, and tell me your social-security number so I can enter it into my laptop.

Re:I'm from the government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29004845)

...conveniently ignoring that all those things were implemented under prior administrations.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005157)

... conveniently not noticing that the parent didn't say anything about administrations...

gtfo tard

Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out fo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29004981)

Just over 200 days in, and Obama is already desperate enough to call people who ask their elected officials tough questions about health care "astroturfers." Is this the kind of change you were hoping for? Hope is for simple-minded idiots content with simple metaphors. It implies no useful action on your part, which is perfect for our increasingly intellectually-lazy and incurious society. Gee, forgive us Lord Obama for not taking you blindly at your word. Forgive us for wanting some actual details about the multi-thousand page boondoggles you're in so much of a hurry to ram through Congress without the kind of healthy and robust debate that the founders envisioned when they created the government. Forgive us for wanting more than just your usual vacuous platitudes. The MTV generation is not going to be able to bail your ass out of this one, mostly because they don't have enough of a dog in this fight to give a rat's ass like us working adults. And yes, we do look rather well-dressed for protesters - thanks for noticing. It's called "I work for a living and I buy my own God-damned clothes thank you very much."

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0, Troll)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005175)

You make a lot of hasty generalizations for a man who implies to be intellectual.

Bigot much?

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005229)

Typical Alinski-disciple tactic - seek to discredit through mockery instead of addressing the facts, because for you to get bogged down in the facts would mean for you to be creamed. It should be noted that the "progressives" in Congress and the White House are using this very tactic right now, which the gpp actually complained about. Call me a bigot. I don't give a fuck. You see, I'm not a liberal, so my self-esteem is not predicated on how popular I perceive myself to be. In fact I am bigoted towards glassy-eyed Obama worshippers who would rather talk about Obama's golf swing or his wife's $400 sneakers than his cabinet full of ex-lobbyists or his extra-Constitutional 30+ "Czars", or his continuance of the warrantless domestic spying program, or his penchant for cramming through legislation without a healthy debate, or his wife who orchestrated a patient-dumping program at her hospital in Chicago.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005577)

"so my self-esteem is not predicated on how popular I perceive myself to be"

How commendable. I can relate to that. I could relate even more, if you were willing to sign your name, anonymous COWARD.

Meanwhile - I've downloaded the PDF containing the law being discussed everywhere. It is neither the abandonment of the elderly that Sarah Bigmouth Palin claims it to be, nor is it the end-all be-all cure for everything that ails us.

With 1018 pages, it's going to take some time to digest all of it, but so far, it looks like a reasoned attempt to save money - MY money, as much as anyone's money - while actually ensuring that just plain Po' Folk get treatment when they need it.

OF COURSE there are problems with it. But, it does attempt to address real problems with the existing system.

Now, take your bigoted ass down the road, BOY!

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005993)

If "saving money" were really what the Obama takeover of healthcare is all about, why doesn't it include serious tort reform to remove the malpractice threat that drives so much overly-defensive medicine, driving up costs for everyone?

Probably because it's NOT really about containing costs...

You really need to read Section 1233 of that bill. Don't you find it a bit disconcerting that the government proposes to monetarily incentivize doctors to "discuss end-of-life planning"?

Especially coming from someone that up to the day he was elected was crowing about how 95% of the population would have their taxes cut? Now, the economy hasn't changed all that much since the election, so either Obama was lying about that tax cut or he was hopelessly naive. Take your pick, but either one doesn't deserve to have his power-grubbing fingers anywhere near the life-and-death decisions that individual health care boils down to.

Because when you get right down to it, the US health care industry isn't drive by government bureaucrats, it's driven by the collective weight of hundreds of millions of INDIVIDUAL decisions ABOUT PERSONAL HEALTH made by INDIVIDUALS each and every day.

Do you REALLY want the same government that gives us the TSA and warrentless wiretapping being responsible for those decisions?

REALLY?

Because that's what Obama's set out to do.

THINK it through. For YOURSELF.

Because if you really think that the poor in the US are actually denied health care, you're WRONG. Go to any hospital and find out for YOURSELF how many indigent patients there are receiving chemotherapy, heart surgery, transplants.

Because if you really think Canada has a better health system, go to Detroit and see how many Canadians are filling the health care system there.

Because if you really think Cuba has such a wonderful health care system, why don't you magically force all US residents to live on 1200 calories per day, remove all the cars from the country, and have all residents have to walk to work every day.

But of course, you first have to really THINK.

Are you up to it?

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006963)

Still a coward. I won't even read your posts you worthless bag of bigot garbage. Put your name up or be ignored.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29009193)

Read this [wikipedia.org] before you read that healthcare bill.

Ad hominem argument is most commonly used to refer specifically to the ad hominem abusive, or argumentum ad personam, which consists of criticizing or attacking the person who proposed the argument (personal attack) in an attempt to discredit the argument. It is also used when an opponent is unable to find fault with an argument, yet for various reasons, the opponent disagrees with it.

...

Amazingly, that Wiki article predates your purveying of logical fallacies. That article looks like it was written with YOU in mind, doesn't it? Don't you just hate it when Wikipedia is prescient and makes you look downright stupid?

Sadly enough, I bet you really do think you're smart. I guess you've fallen under the Dunning-Kruger effect [wikipedia.org] , eh? The phrase "...people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it" fits you perfectly.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29018601)

Yes.. Ad Hominem... what you've been doing since your first post.

stfu child. your mouth gets bigger with every scoop from the silver spoon.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29009527)

Publius would be so proud!

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

PubliusValerius (1615577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29010741)

I'm so proud!

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29018455)

Because when you get right down to it, the US health care industry isn't drive by government bureaucrats, it's driven by the collective weight of hundreds of millions of INDIVIDUAL decisions ABOUT PERSONAL HEALTH made by INDIVIDUALS each and every day.

Jesus Christ -- my first real-life shrieking astroturfer. Good God -- how deep is the depression on your caps key? It sure gets a lot of use on slashdot.

Do you REALLY want the same government that gives us the TSA and warrentless wiretapping being responsible for those decisions?

Aha! The true silliness and ignorance of the asroturfer revealed. Obama had nothing to do with the TSA or warrantless wiretapping. Nor the usa parrot act, for that matter. Lay all that steaming fetid shit at the feet of the previous monomaniacal son of a bitch to reside in the White House. Goddamned fucking born-with-a-silver-spoon-up-his-ass pseudo-cowboy cracker.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29007905)

Bigoted? So let me get this straight... In your mind, disagreement == bigoted. You are either very ignorant, or very disingenuous. You sound like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid calling everyone who disagrees with them "un-American." Excuse me, but isn't this the same kind of shit you pussies were shrieking about during the Bush years? I thought that dissent was patriotic! Fucking hypocritical pussy. You only like the 1st Amendment when it suits your own ends, I guess...

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29008933)

Bigoted? So let me get this straight... In your mind, disagreement == bigoted. ...

You're giving joocemann the moron WAY too much credit when you use those words.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29017305)

With 1018 pages, it's going to take some time to digest all of it, but so far, it looks like a reasoned attempt to save money - MY money, as much as anyone's money - while actually ensuring that just plain Po' Folk get treatment when they need it.

Thank you. You have just now proven yourself to be a far more responsible citizen than those fearful dickbites in congress who overwhelmingly passed the usa parrot act without even opening the fucking (literally) pages.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006931)

How you describe Obama fanatics (and equate that minority to all supporters or 'liberals/progressives') demonstrates just how bigoted and shallow your view of people is. Of course I will attack you if your blathering resembles blatant ignorance and intolerance.

Did you get a boner over Bush being a 'strong leader' while missing all his big muckups? Better yet, how great was it to watch John McCain sell his soul and backbone for GOP support and flip flop about 100x more than Kerry ever did?

But I"m not saying all conservatives are that naive... I'm not santa clause nor would I ever try to generalize such a large group of people so hastily and recklessly.

The great thing about publicly expressed opinion is that despite how little you care about how your message is received, other people DO care about how you deliver and what you've got to say. Subsequently you'll only be less and less credited as you show how foolish your view of the world is.

I am not too happy about Obama, either -- but thats not really cause to be a bigot. I definitely pay respect to conservatives that follow a more traditional feel like Ron Paul supporters.

Even if you're old, please grow up. Its kinda annoying telling adult-age people how to respect one another. Thanks.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006951)

Ahhh.. I see how you can be so blatant.. you post as an Anonymous Coward. Its nice that slashdot knows to call you out on that.

Put your name up. You talk tuff and boisterous when you've got a veil to hide behind.

pfft... you mean nothing.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29009573)

argumentum ad hominem

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29009819)

So, when your parents named you Joocemann, were you names after a relative, or was this a new name for the family? Also, is the legal spelling Jooce Mann, Jooecem Ann, or some other combination?

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

PubliusValerius (1615577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29010973)

Is this what passes for a counter argument now days?

Anon: 1, Jooce: 0

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005691)

You make a lot of hasty generalizations for a man who implies to be intellectual.

Bigot much?

flag@whitehouse.gov

Not much else needs to be said about Hopenchange. But I will anyway: the Stasi was run by Communists, too.

Don't you feel stupid now?

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006975)

If you understood communism you wouldn't look so stupid.

Sorry if this seems like flamebait, but this anonymous coward obviously doesn't know what he's talking about.

I can't talk to an idiot who doesn't know the meanings of words he even says.

Re:Hey, how's that "Hope & Change" working out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29019801)

And yes, we do look rather well-dressed for protesters - thanks for noticing. It's called "I work for a living and I buy my own God-damned clothes thank you very much."

Typical raucous fucking bastard astroturfer. Fuck yourself in your stone heart.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004983)

. . . give your liquids to the nice man from the TSA . . .

"I refuse to give them my 'precious bodily fluids'" - General Jack Ripper

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005145)

. . . give your liquids to the nice man from the TSA . . .

"I refuse to give them my 'precious bodily fluids'" - General Jack Ripper

You don't avoid the TSA, you just refuse them your essence.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005873)

...and I'm here to help you protect your privacy.

Can we please give the government a little credit when they at least try to start trying to do the right thing? Is that too much trouble?

Would the FTC even have thought of anything like this during the last administration? Personally, after a decade of corporate anal rampage, I'm happy to see consumer protection starting to make a comeback. At least it's a step in the right direction.

Re:I'm from the government... (2, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29007451)

Privacy invasions certainly are not what they used to be. Now trained psychologists, in fact people with doctrates, work on wasy to manipulate peoples choices on an individual basis not for the benefit of the people they are manipulating but for greater profits for corporations. It is hard to tell those psychologists that worked with tortures to make that torture more effective of those psychologists who try to manipulate societies to feed the greed of a minority regardless of the the harm, they know, not figuratively but literally know exactly what kind of damage they are doing to individuals and to society as a whole.

So the FTC and the medical profession as a whole should bore it right up 'em. Not only who they share that data with but also what they do with that data and the legal implications of using that data in a very perverted manner compared to the intent of training people in psychology. It is really pretty sick that they use what was intended to make people mentally healthier is instead used to manipulate them and make what amounts to mentally unhealthy, there really has to be some serious ramifications for that kind of abuse.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

JNSL (1472357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29012677)

Can we please give the government a little credit when they at least try to start trying to do the right thing? Is that too much trouble?

Neither a fan of Bush nor Obama here - pretty ambivalent. But you'd be kidding yourself if you didn't think each administration wasn't doing what they thought was the right thing with respect to issues like this.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29016067)

Neither a fan of Bush nor Obama here - pretty ambivalent. But you'd be kidding yourself if you didn't think each administration wasn't doing what they thought was the right thing with respect to issues like this.

Well, yes... but under Bush, "What was right" was "If you don't have anything to hide, why do you need privacy?" Fear of terr'rists was used to bully Americans into giving up their expectation of privacy in their everyday lives. At the same time, corporate regulation was almost a swear-word.

This move is definitely in a different direction, and it's one I think we've needed for a loooooong time. Why should only health care providers be required to protect your personal info?

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

JNSL (1472357) | more than 4 years ago | (#29016227)

To be clear, I was responding to HangingChad's plea for credit to the Obama administration. It had nothing to do with whether I thought the policy should or shouldn't have been as it is or was, for either administration, but whether the administration was trying to do the right thing. Both tried. You agree that one got it right, and the other didn't. Fine. I probably even agree with you. But credit is deserved for anybody who tries to do the right thing, and both administrations deserve credit for that. If HangingChad wants to provide general praise for that sort of thing, he shouldn't talk out of both sides of his/her mouth.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29017325)

To be clear, I was responding to HangingChad's plea for credit to the Obama administration. It had nothing to do with whether I thought the policy should or shouldn't have been as it is or was, for either administration, but whether the administration was trying to do the right thing. Both tried. You agree that one got it right, and the other didn't. Fine. I probably even agree with you. But credit is deserved for anybody who tries to do the right thing, and both administrations deserve credit for that. If HangingChad wants to provide general praise for that sort of thing, he shouldn't talk out of both sides of his/her mouth.

Well, it depends on who is defining "the right thing." Yes, everyone, individually, is trying to do what they think is "right." When an undiagnosed schizophrenic kills someone because god told them to, they're "trying to do the right thing." When Harry Truman ordered the first and last nuclear strikes on live targets, he was "trying to do the right thing." When John Scopes taught his class about evolution, he was "trying to do the right thing." The public opinion may or may not agree with the individual, and may even change as time goes on.

But I think HangingChad was discussing it in a different sense. The prevailing opinion on this forum tends to be that there is insufficient protection of individual privacy. Therefore, "trying to do the right thing" is to strengthen those protections. The Obama administration is doing that; the Bush administration did the opposite.

Re:I'm from the government... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29087629)

But credit is deserved for anybody who tries to do the right thing, and both administrations deserve credit for that.

Intention is everything. The people in the Bush administration came from the school where the intention was to protect government and corporate power at the expense of any form of privacy and anonymity. They cast aside any form of anonymity, however justified and reasonable with, "But the terrorists can use it, too."

Any tool of any possible use to terrorists was automatically hamstrung for legitimate users/needers.

A couple of examples:

The attempts of some to outlaw legitimate tools such as disassemblers because they "might" be used for reverse engineering "protected" code.

The abuse of the DMCA by Lexmark to keep others from cloning chips to allow use of refilled toner cartridges, thereby cutting out the business of third party cartridge refurbishers. They simply implemented some cheap-ass "encryption" (ROT13, anyone?) on the chip's code and declared any cloning to be a DMCA violation.

None of this is far different from the way the **AA has wrested control of any remotely "infringing" technology from the marketplace of those with legitimate intentions.

It would be nice if we went back to the words of Thomas Aquinas -- "Abuse does not take away use".

The only two things in our society were this principle is observed seem to be alcohol and automobiles. In these two cases, despite great potential for harm, a balance is struck between availability and harm. In nearly all other cases, the government has let the potential for harm be decided solely by those with a business interest in controlling the object under consideration, with only a token nod to those with a legitimate opposing interest.

Re:I'm from the government... (1)

Ironica (124657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29016033)

...and I'm here to help you protect your privacy.

Please show me your RFID passport, give your liquids to the nice man from the TSA, and tell me your social-security number so I can enter it into my laptop.

1) That's what this [thinkgeek.com] is for.
2) My liquids don't really say much about me that's personally identifiable.
3) "The government" is pretty explicit on just how your SSN should NOT be used as an identifier except by very particular agencies, and never as a password. The folks who violate this premise most frequently are private businesses who want to make sure they can tell on you to the credit agencies if they decide you owe them money. While there have been cases of laptops containing personally identifiable info, including SSNs, stolen from federal agencies, there have been far, far more such cases with private companies (and a handful from state agencies or public universities).

Yeah, when it comes to protecting my privacy, I trust the Feds a whole heck of a lot more than I trust private corporations. But, as I once was told by a fortune cookie, "Trust him, but keep your eyes open." Ultimately, I'm the person who is most likely to protect my privacy. The less of my info I put in someone else's hands, the better.

What took so long? (1)

TerrenceCoggins (1601371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004853)

Better late than never... is what I'd like to say, but jeez! It's already 2009 and this security flaw is still un-patched! Hope they get past the "investigation" phase and on to the part where things get "fixed".

Next step... (5, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004871)

"Hi. We noticed that you've been buying a lot of condoms/birth control pills, lube and are not currently being treated for any STDs. Would you a like a free membership to our dating website?"

"Hi. We noticed that your spouse has been buying a lot of condoms/birth control pills, lube and motel rooms within 25 miles of your home. Can we interest you in our "Super Slueth" private investigation package?"

Yaddah yaddah.

Re:Next step... (3, Funny)

vbraga (228124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004963)

Better

"Hi. We noticed that your spouse has been buying a lot of condoms/birth control pills, lube and motel rooms within 25 miles of your home. Can we interest you in our "Super Slueth" private investigation package?"

than

"Hi. We noticed that your spouse has been buying a lot of condoms/birth control pills, lube and motel rooms within 25 miles of your home. Would you like to see our offers on firearms?"

Re:Next step... (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005027)

Great synergy there! "Hi. We noticed that your spouse has been buying a lot of condoms/birth control pills, lube and motel rooms within 25 miles of your home. Would you like to see our offers on firearms?" would be followed by "Hi. We noticed you just got arrested for murder. Would you like to get 10 free rate quotes from defense lawyers in your area?".

Re:Next step... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005031)

The latter makes business sense; they could then contact the spouse with, "Hi, we noticed that your spouse is purchasing firearms in response to your infidelity; can we interest you in buying Kevlar vests and firearms as well?"

Re:Next step... (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005295)

Then later, "Hi, we noticed you've been buying digging equipment and quicklime. Would you like to see our offers on criminal defense lawyers?"

Re:Next step... (2, Funny)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29008587)

It's like what somebody said about buying your wife a gun: it's like you've decided to commit suicide, but you want it to be a surprise.

Re:Next step... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006915)

More like:

"Hi. I'm a representative of the foreign subsidiary of a major US telecom company that handles customer support offshore. We have compiled a list of phone numbers that frequenly contact certain exchanges in Langely, Virginia. We can make this list available to you for a small fee.

Das vidanye, comrade."

Whoops. Too late. That stuff has been for sale for some time now.

Best practices (4, Interesting)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 4 years ago | (#29004913)

One place to start is to look at best practices of other governments.
I'm un-characteristically proud of what the government of Canada did in the Privacy Act [justice.gc.ca] , and the creation of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner [priv.gc.ca] .

Of course, it's not perfect, but It's pretty good. Especially compared to what I see in the rest of the world.

Re:Best practices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005093)

Wow, you mean like the data protection laws that Europe has had for decades?

Re:Best practices (2, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005449)

Wow, you mean like the data protection laws that Europe has had for decades?

Which doesn't work any better than anywhere else in the western world.
Stolen this, Phorm that, misplaced everything else.

tell us...who is in jail after violating these 'data protection laws'? What companies and CEOs have been shut down?

Re:Best practices (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29006587)

Wow, you mean like the data protection laws that Europe has had for decades?

Your bank details belong to us [edri.org] , well since Sept 2001 anyway, almost a decade.

Re:Best practices (1)

Snarf You (1285360) | more than 4 years ago | (#29007933)

Your bank details belong to us

I believe the correct wording is "All your bank are belong to us"

Re:Best practices (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005143)

This can't be true. Fox News just had a number of canada analysts on that directly said that most canadians hate their privacy acts and systems for personal information protection.

Are you telling me that Fox would put up with paying someone who would lie to me about reality?

flag@whitehouse.gov (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29005373)

Are they looking into THAT collection of data?

Lip Service (2)

PingXao (153057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005661)

This is window dressing and nothing more. Vladeck himself says he doesn't favor more legislation. This is theater of the absurd because the FTC cares about our privacy about as much as they do about spam.

Re:Lip Service (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29005751)

What makes you think that the FTC doesn't care about spam? It's a difficult problem and without congress giving them the ability to directly fine companies who appear in spam messages, I'm not sure how exactly they're going to be able to solve it. Unless I'm missing something and they're able to do that without specific legislative approval.

I can pretty much guarantee that a significant amount of spam would go away if companies were fined for paying spammers to advertise. It's not going to deal with phishing or other similar spam related crimes, but it would at least dry up that area of activity.

As far as this topic goes, I'd like to see some sort of regulation that requires the approval of the customer whenever records are transferred as part of a merger or acquisition. And definitely a clear listing of who is an affiliate when authorizing third party data sharing. And while we're at it of who it is that's authorized to run scripts on pages that don't appear to come from the server itself.

Of course, fear the corporations, not government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29010739)

Oh, no! Worry about the corporations. They might spam you, have telemarketers call you or put you on a junk snail mail list.

How about legislation that stops government agencies from spying on its own citizens?

How about legislation that ends National Security Letters, instruments which destroy free speech and habeas corpus?

How about legislation that pulls the army out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

How about legislation that shuts down Bagram Air Base where people are still being tortured?

Nah, don't worry about that. Some corporation wants to sell you something and might buy your data to do it, and we can't have that because all corporations = bad, right? Wrong. The crimes of a few do not equal the crimes of the many. For every scumbag corporation out there, there are a thousand that do exactly what they're supposed to do. And yet, no one wants to recognize this, especially when there are much more pressing issue to think about.

I find it funny that privacy is such an issue for some now and yet many are the same people that want universal health care. Expect things to be much, much worse under any universal health care program.

Require businesses to persist "UserData" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29017847)

I routinely add a "Rm" or "Ste" number to my mailing address so I can track whether a business gives out my personal information. I've busted several mail-order catalogs. However, my contrived address is not strictly a valid USPS address.

Part of the solution should involve requiring businesses to persist definite "UserData" records so consumers can track transit of their data.

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