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Such a Thing as too Paranoid About Privacy?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the depends-on-how-much-you-like-spam dept.

Privacy 231

jackoahoy! writes "As we become more connected, we have the right to be paranoid. But the question is: where do we draw the line between sane and insane privacy? CoolTechZone's Gundeep Hora tackles this issue and uses a recent blog entry on Infoworld to illustrate his point. From the article: 'Whether it's or any other rebate managing company, asking for the industry you work in and your job function aren't the most personal questions they could possibly ask. However, they must carefully define the conditions for collecting such information. Targeted advertising by user opt-in newsletters and e-mail campaigns (unlike spamming) or internal market research to get a grasp on its customer base isn't unethical, in my opinion. And people making a big deal out of two vaguely placed questions is insensible and out of proportion. If you really are that paranoid about privacy, then do what this reader did and put in wrong information under those questions.'"

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My complaint against Slashdot (1)

Fecal Troll Matter (445929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337856)

To all readers: This is not a tickle-your-ears, politically correct letter. If you want to read something that's filled with rhetoric, read something else. If you want the truth, then read this letter. Let us note first of all that Slashdot's sympathizers are ineducable. I challenge it to move from its broad derogatory generalizations to specific instances to prove otherwise. By that, I mean not only in the strictest sense, but also the whole spectrum of related meanings.

Inasmuch as I disagree with Slashdot's accusations and find its ad hominem attacks offensive, I am happy to meet Slashdot's speech with more speech and, if necessary, continue this discussion until the truth shines. Slashdot wants to interfere with the most important principles of democracy. Such intolerance is felt by all people, from every background. I'm not writing this letter for your entertainment. I'm not even writing it for your education. I'm writing it for our very survival. Contrary to popular belief, Slashdot's thralls assert that "the worst kinds of contemptuous goofballs there are are easily housebroken." First off, that's a lousy sentence. If they had written that I can say with absolute certitude that I can't help it if Slashdot can't take a joke, then that quote would have had more validity. As it stands, you, of course, now need some hard evidence that Slashdot drools at the thought of swilling port and sherry at taxpayer expense. Well, how about this for evidence: It wants to advocate power-drunk diatribes. Personally, I don't want that. Personally, I prefer freedom. If you also prefer freedom, then you should be working with me to point out the glaring contradiction between its idealized view of totalitarianism and reality.

You may find it amusing or even titillating to read about Slashdot's press releases, but they're not amusing to me. They're deeply troubling. If you ever ask Slashdot to do something, you can bet that your request will get lost in the shuffle, unaddressed, ignored, and rebuffed.

As far as I can tell, I recently heard Slashdot tell a bunch of people that governments should have the right to lie to their own subjects or to other governments. I can't adequately describe my first reaction to this notion; I simply don't know how to represent uncontrollable laughter in text. As for the lies and exaggerations, Slashdot's publications do not represent progress. They represent insanity masquerading as progress.

Given the tenor of our times, I am annoyed by the uncivilized and sometimes childish manifestations of rebelliousness against an inherited civilization of which Slashdot's foot soldiers do not have the slightest understanding. Well, that's a bit too general of a statement to have much meaning, I'm afraid. So let me instead explain my point as follows: Slashdot occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to create widespread psychological suffering. Once, just once, I'd like to see Slashdot's comrades resolve our disputes without violence. But until they do that (if they ever do that), we must realize that Slashdot is careless with data, makes all sorts of causal interpretations of things without any real justification, has a way of combining disparate ideas that don't seem to hang together, seems to show a sort of pride in its own biases, gets into all sorts of domineering speculation, and then makes no effort to test out its speculations -- and that's just the short list! However deep one delves into the citations and footnotes of Slashdot's shenanigans, and however poised and "mainstream" its supporters appear once challenged, there is no way to forget that it has never gotten ahead because of its hard work or innovative ideas. Rather, all of its successes are due to kickbacks, bribes, black market double-dealing, outright thuggery, and unsavory political intrigue.

Slashdot possesses no significant intellectual skills whatsoever and has no interest in erudition. Heck, it can't even spell or define "erudition", much less achieve it. The following theorem may therefore be established as an eternally valid truth: Slashdot's addlepated game of chess -- the demonic chess of cannibalism -- has continued for far too long. It's time to checkmate this self-aggrandizing polemic and show it that it has been trying to convince us that it can absorb mana by devouring its nemeses' brains. This pathetic attempt to shackle us with the chains of sesquipedalianism deserves no comment other than to say that now that I've been exposed to Slashdot's deeds, I must admit that I don't completely understand them. Perhaps I need to get out more. Or perhaps I challenge Slashdot to point out any text in this letter that proposes that pessimism can quell the hatred and disorder in our society. It isn't there. There's neither a hint nor a suggestion of such a thing.

In whatever form it takes -- magazines, music, propaganda, or any other form -- Slashdot's rhetoric is designed to create an antihumanist world of guilt and shame. To sweep Slashdot's peccadillos under the rug is an injustice. When we tease apart the associations necessary to Slashdot's self-serving, recalcitrant animadversions, we see that we must build a world overflowing with compassion and tolerance. Those who claim otherwise do so only to justify their own humorless slurs. Slashdot does not want to poke and pry into every facet of our lives because it is namby-pamby, deranged, litigious, and wicked (though, granted, Slashdot is all of the aforementioned), but rather because there is still hope for our society, real hope -- not the false sense of hope that comes from the mouths of unconscionable lackwits, but the hope that makes you eager to discuss the programmatic foundations of its viperine canards in detail.

Slashdot has lost sight of the lessons of history. Enough said. By the same token, Slashdot's jokes are not witty satire, as it would have you believe. They're simply the cankered ramblings of something that has no idea or appreciation of what it's mocking.

It troubles and amazes me to think that the ultimate aim of Slashdot's obloquies is to restructure society as a pyramid with Slashdot at the top, Slashdot's legates directly underneath, irresponsible recidivists beneath them, and the rest of at the bottom. This new societal structure will enable Slashdot to burn books, which makes me realize that no matter what else we do, our first move must be to educate everyone about how its dupes are once again out begging for signatures for some negligent petition that makes it legal for Slashdot to work hand-in-glove with the worst sorts of resentful masters of deceit I've ever seen. That's the first step: education. Education alone is not enough, of course. We must also tell it where it can stick it. Slashdot maliciously defames and damagingly misrepresents everyone and everything around it. There's a word for that: libel. Slashdot's quips are evil. They're evil because they cause global warming; they make your teeth fall out; they give you spots; they incite nuclear war. And, as if that weren't enough, Slashdot's contrivances are based on a technique I'm sure you've heard of. It's called "lying". I note in passing that Slashdot somehow manages to maintain a straight face when saying that the average working-class person can't see through its chicanery. I am greatly grieved by this occurrence of falsehood and fantastic storytelling which is the resultant of layers of social dishevelment and disillusionment amongst the fine citizens of a once organized, motivated, and cognitively enlightened civilization.

I have a problem with Slashdot's use of the phrase, "We all know that...". With this phrase, it doesn't need to prove its claim that all any child needs is a big dose of television every day; it merely accepts it as fact. To put it another way, we need to look beyond the most immediate and visible problems with it. We need to look at what is behind these problems and understand that many people are shocked when I tell them that its expedients represent explicitly its overly accepting attitude towards insane drug addicts. And I'm shocked that so many people are shocked. You see, I had thought everybody already knew that the first response to this from its cat's-paws is perhaps that it could do a gentler and fairer job of running the world than anyone else. Wrong. Just glance at the facts: In the Old Testament, the Book of Kings relates how the priests of Baal were slain for deceiving the people. I'm not suggesting that there be any contemporary parallel involving Slashdot, but I do not have the time, in one sitting, to go into the long answer as to why Slashdot would sell its soul in return for the possibility of wealth and status. But the short answer is that I am now in a position to define what I mean when I say that it uses jujuism as a hammer to forge the goofy ingrates who will borrow money and spend it on programs that feed blind hatred by next weekend. What I mean is that the next time Slashdot decides to transform our little community into a global crucible of terror and gore, it should think to itself, cui bono? -- who benefits? But this is something to be filed away for future letters. At present, I wish to focus on only one thing: the fact that by refusing to act, by refusing to disabuse Slashdot of the notion that those who disagree with it should be cast into the outer darkness, should be shunned, should starve, we are giving it the power to gain a respectable foothold for its stultiloquent ventures. To the best of my knowledge, if it weren't for insecure vandals, Slashdot would have no friends. Let us now pursue virtue and knowledge, because in that is our only hope for the future.

Thank you Bill Bennett! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337963)

O come all ye whack-jobs, Joyless and in-tol-erant O come ye, O come yeEE right-wing Biblical hacks!

Come and behold him Angry at a bull-e-tin board

O come let us mod him down O come let us mod him down O come let us mod him down cuz he doesn't know it's just a silly bulletin board!

Happy Holidays!

Re:Thank you Bill Bennett! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338061)

Happy Holidays! No no no. It's not "Happy Holidays", it's "Merry Christmas!"

just cause it's xmas (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337857)

first post

Sure, because we can trust advertising companies (4, Interesting)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337860) do the right thing.

If that's their reasoning, then let them ask for the demographic info WHEN the user opts in.

Otherwise they have it sitting there, calling thier name like a chocolate cake in the fridge at 3am. Yeah, they'll never give in to the temptation... and that cake is still sitting there, too.

Re:Sure, because we can trust advertising companie (0, Troll)

bookemdano63 (261600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338066)

And the biggest advertising company of them all... Google.

Re:Sure, because we can trust advertising companie (4, Interesting)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338106)

I think the important question that would solve all this is "What is the chocolate cake?" What exactly can they do with this information? Granted I don't want them to have it, but what can they do with it that really would hurt me? Our country is pretty far away from Hong Kong (on the Orwellian map), where you get 10 years prison for spitting gum out on the sidewalk. I don't see collecting information to be a chocolate cake. Maybe one my mom baked, but certainly nothing appetizing at all. It might look nice on the outside, having all those names and numbers and addresses, but it would take a lot of digestion energy to do something useful with it.

Re:Sure, because we can trust advertising companie (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338133)

It might look nice on the outside, having all those names and numbers and addresses, but it would take a lot of digestion energy to do something useful with it.

Not all that difficult. Things start to slack, that info is some mighty fine barter to the right buyer. A 'partnership' later and our data collecting friends have a nice influx of new capital, and some marketing firm claims 'preexisting relationship' and spams/telemarkets the hell out of us.

Re:Sure, because we can trust advertising companie (1)

electrosoccertux (874415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338149)

They won't send paper in the mail as that is too expensive...and too easy for me to throw away. They won't call my cell phone because I'm on the do not call list and will file a claim if they do. They can send email but Thunderbird's got a great spam filter. I fail to see what the problem is besides a bit of inconvenience?

Re:Sure, because we can trust advertising companie (3, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338190)

The inverse is true. The advertisers/marketers don't care about you they care about your kind. If they were that interested in you, they would just target you and steal from you, they want X number of people similar to you. There are things like "target demographics", "males between 25 and 35", "housewives" or "stay at home moms" if they have kids, etc.

Certain products, goods, or services may appeal to statistical outliers, but any marketer or advertiser never appeals to them, they appeal to the middle 2 standard deviations. Niche products even do this thing. About 1 in 5 women are into anal sex, butt 4 out of 5 are not into it and would not be into seeing advertisements for a better anal lube on TV even though it might even change their opinion of that kind of sex. Herpes medication is accepted though, because everybody knows somebody that has it.

I'm not paranoid about privacy in marketing. Nothing I buy that is legal to buy is that interesting. The good stuff is not advertised, nor needs to be. I've heard that Nukes go for something like $10 mil. Buying those might be of interest to some people, but being that the US government is too stupid to figure out which 3rd world country's government owns them or not, I can buy them in relative comfort.

Too Paranoid About Privacy (2, Funny)

someone300 (891284) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337861)

Richard Stallman

paranoia (1)

UprlghtCitizen (926734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337870)

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

Re:paranoia (2, Funny)

waddgodd (34934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338173)

thief! come back here with my .sig

There such a thing as too paranoid... (-1, Offtopic)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337871)

... and it's called paranoid personality disorder [] . Aside from that, it's up to the people at large and individually to determine what they will put up with.

Re:There such a thing as too paranoid... (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337916)

Oh yeah right, next thing you know, you'll be telling us all that tinfoil hats don't work [] .

Re:There such a thing as too paranoid... (1)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338057)

Pfft, everyone knows the very idea of tinfoil hats was planted in our brains by the Alien-Government co-conspiracy to allow them to amplify their mind control rays to enable them to completely take over your body! You have to use plastic wrap! Only it's unique molecular structure can disrupt their mental control technology!

Re:There such a thing as too paranoid... (3, Insightful)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338059)

Tinfoil and aluminum foil are NOT the same thing.

Offtopic? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338023)

I think a moderator became afraid that you were on to him!

Anyway, I always thought of paranoia as a finer, more granular reality.

If the information is so trivial... (5, Insightful)

sphealey (2855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337879)

If the information is so trivial and useless, why do they collect it?

If the information has value, why don't they pay me for it?

Is there any validity to the theories (and software) of social networking?


Re:If the information is so trivial... (2, Interesting)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337896)

Quite. If they want to know this stuff so badly, they can compensate me with the only thing that will work: money.

No money, no info. It's that simple.

I wouldn't mind all the spam I get if I got paid to receive it, ya know?

Re:If the information is so trivial... (2, Interesting)

click2005 (921437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337927)

But you are compensated. You get better deals on v1agr4 and loads of other products.

On a serious note, isn't this what reward cards are for from stores? give them your details in exchange for better deals & money off.

Re:If the information is so trivial... (3, Informative)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337964)

No, those cards are a mechanism by which you allow the stores to build up a personal profile on you in return for not having to pay a surcharge for not using the card. Yesterdays "sale prices" are today's "card prices."

Re:If the information is so trivial... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338017)

I will never shop at a store that has those cards. I only shop at Publix for groceries since everyone else requires cards and also has higer prices even with the card. Petsmart started a card program earlier this year and lost all my business. Since I have three fairly large dogs, I used to spend a fair amount of money on food, treats, and toys. I wrote them a letter letting them know I was disappointed with the new program and will no longer be a customer as long as the cards are in effect. I did not even warrant the courtesy of a response. I have a new supplier for the supplies who is quite happy to have a couple hundred dollars per month of new business. I know that I am not the only one who no longer shops there, but they apparently make more money off selling your information than they do from selling you stuff.

Re:If the information is so trivial... (4, Interesting)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338110)

I will never shop at a store that has those cards.

Too bad for you, you could save some money and help your grocer better serve you while giving up no personal data at all. I use several of those cards, and "save" quite a bit over what you are likely paying, and not a single one has any real information about me in the profile connected to them. All they know is somebody in my area purchases certain products. This type of information is of value to whatever store I shop at, and they do in fact compensate me with lower prices for using their card. I give up no personal data at all, and they get to learn what kinds of things their customers buy. It's a win-win situation.

Re:If the information is so trivial... (1)

name773 (696972) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338163)

there's something else to them: if you have a card for their store, you're less likely to go to a store you have no card for

Re:If the information is so trivial... (2, Insightful)

Ph33r th3 g(O)at (592622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338166)

So you lied about your personal data, and based on that, you're saying the cards are no big deal. Do you really expect that it'll be that easy to just fib about your name forever?

Re:If the information is so trivial... (1)

Pyrion (525584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338054)

But that still requires money out of my pocket. A net loss for me.

I want to see a net gain.

I freaked out my local Albertsons (4, Insightful)

MarkusQ (450076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338114)

I freaked out the people at my local Albertson's a few years back (side note: If it's "My store" why is it called "Albertson's"? My name isn't Albertson) when they started doing the valued customers card or what ever it was they called it. Every time I went in, they kept asking me if I had my card yet, if I wanted to get a card, and so forth. And they kept going on about how much I would save.

Every time, I said no.

Finally, I made a form asking for basically the same information they wanted, and offered to pay 10% more every time I shopped if they would just fill out the form and give little cards with bar codes of my choosing on them to all the checkers, so I could scan them with my cuecat each time I checked out. Easy as pie, and it would probably double their profit on my purchases.

This resulted in very amusing conversations with the supervisor, and assistant manager, and a manager--throughout which, I'm proud to say, I kept a straight face. The upshot was, they said no.

I said that was fine, but they really were passing up a good thing, and I'd be sure to make them the same offer the next time I came in. And the time after that.

Oddly, I don't think they ever tried to sign me up for their stupid program again.


Re:If the information is so trivial... (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337922)

If the information has value, why don't they pay me for it?

Because they can get it for cheaper and easier in bulk from people you have to tell the info to who then turn around and sell it, or lose it to hackers.

Re:If the information is so trivial... (1)

bladernr (683269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338027)

If the information has value, why don't they pay me for it?

I think the problem is how little your information is worth. The information on millions of people is worth something, but each individual's information is probably worth a fraction of a cent.

Disclaimer: I am not in the mass-marketing or data collecting industry, so I'm saying this based on what I've seen and read on the amount people sell information for.

Now, what I do know about is transaction costs. If it costs $0.50 to send you the money you are owed for information, but the underlying value was a (generous) $0.01, we are talking about a 50x increase in the cost of selling that asset. If you look at the returns on information (as in people that buy things as a result of spam or other direct mail), I think it makes the information cost more than it is worth to actually pay you for it.

And, finally, the biggest reason they don't pay you, no matter the economics: they don't have to. People are not demanding those protections as a pre-condition to doing business with most sites. Until the consuming public demands it, why would a company increase their cost of doing business? This is again a case of people may cry and moan, but, in the end, people are voting with their patronage.

Another disclaimer: I am super privacy paranoid and don't want my info going anywhere for any reason, payment or not. I'm just trying to provide a reasoned answer to your question.

Re:If the information is so trivial... (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338065)

If the information has value, why don't they pay me for it?

Seeing as this is talking about mail in rebates, you are compensated for your info. You want the rebate (read: pay) then you give up the info.

They don't care about *you*... (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338090)

.. they care about your demographic.

Your information is useless (in a relative sense). Your demographics is not.

Information on the buying trends of a certain salary range in a certain area are only valuble in a large-scale demographic. Even if a dollar value was assigned to it, your own *personal* share of that pie would be infentessimal.

Do you really expect them to pay you 10 cents to fill out those fields? Because in actual fact, they are - via the rebate program / rewards program / whatever.


Affecting you Psychologically (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337882)

You draw the line when it's affecting psychologically.

The Issue (1)

wcleveland (919106) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337893)

The major issue I have with my information being private is not whether company A knows everything about me. That would be okay. In regards to online deals, it's the fear of unkown hacker B obtaining my life story unknowingly to both company A and myself. And just in general, I like to know exactly who knows what about myself. This is probably why I dislike rumours and gossip so much.

My answers (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337894)

For a rebate on a new CD/DVD-burner:

Industry: RIAA.
Job Function: Extorting the unlucky.

I'm still waiting for my rebate.

Just fill out fake info (1, Interesting)

adorai (870142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337903)

Why does everyone get up in arms about these companies who have absolutely no verification of your identity? I usually just fill out something like "Penguin P. Finsbury" and a ZIP code of 90210, and put equally garbage data in the rest of the fields. Save your energies for the real scary privacy stuff, like the credit card companies who actually know who you are. Just give garbage data to the cheesy websites; their market research will be crap as a result and no one will buy it.

Re:Just fill out fake info (2, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337931)

Assuming your name really isn't Penguin P. Finsbury and you don't really live in Beverly Hills, how do you even receive rebate checks, let alone cash them?

Re:Just fill out fake info (2, Funny)

jollyroger1210 (933226) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337979)

...Which, explains all the spam Ive been getting!!! --Penguin P. Finsbury

Re:Just fill out fake info (1)

KaLogain (319907) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338116)

What doyou do when they want to sue you for fraud? And why should you have to lie?

those who don't value their privacy will have none (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337905)

... I forget the better worded expression but there's one that elegantly points out that once you forego some privacy (or something else, forgot what) it's a slippery slope till you have none. ... It's the principle of the thing. If you're letting companies get some of your personal information where do you draw the line.. and they shouldn't imo have any anyway. ... I have little doubt they're interested in every bit of information, and put together it can be made in to something that could scare any person. I'm sure some companies would love to data mine *everything* about a person. Having things to tie people together would make it a lot easier. (yay for google cookies).

to paraphrase... (5, Insightful)

User 956 (568564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337906)

To paraphrase the famous quote: Those who would give up essential privacy to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither privacy nor safety.

Re:to paraphrase... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337976)

There was also that quote from that movie (you know, the one with that guy*):

The issue's not whether you're paranoid, the issue is whether you're paranoid enough.

*That guy that was a cop or something and he did stuff, or stuff happened to him, I forget. Oh, and Juliette Lewis was in it.**

**Don't bother posting to tell me it was Strange Days, because I'm pretty sure I'd remember if that was the movie. Or at least, I think I'm pretty sure.***

***Oh, yeah and Angela Bassett was in it too. Oh, and I think the guy was an ex-cop.

Re:to paraphrase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338031)

It is SD. I had the poster on my wall. I paid 55 cents for it. It had a bad photoshop job.

Re:to paraphrase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338162)

Of course it was SD. The poster (i.e., me) was obviously going off on some weird goofy riff.

Re:to paraphrase... (0)

alset_tech (683716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338049)

To paraphrase the famous quote: Those who would give up essential privacy to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither privacy nor safety.

I think you mean something more like:

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
- Benjamin Franklin

Re:to paraphrase... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338104)

*nudge nudge*

Psst! []

Re:to paraphrase... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338126)

Do you know what paraphrase means?

Persistent and Annoying (5, Interesting)

aukset (889860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337912)

I got an iPod for christmas. I installed the software, which required my name and email address, and was forced to opt out for spam. Then I had to update the iPod software. I was forced to enter my name and email address and opt-out for spam. Then I had to update the iTunes software, where I was yet again forced to enter my email address and opt-out for spam. Thats 3 times in 15 minutes that a single company attempted to get my information and permission for spam. At this point, I was so pissed off that I entered a really long, expletive-laced fake email address to download iTunes.

It doesn't matter to me if a company has a reasonable privacy policy when they do everything in their power to get your permission for spam anyway. Like all advertising, it is invasive, persistent, underhanded, and extremely annoying. As far as I'm concerned, it has nothing to do with privacy. It is unreasonable marketing practices that piss me off. I think it pisses a lot of people off, and the backlash from that is a demand for more privacy.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337924)

I installed the software, which required my name and email address, and was forced to opt out for spam.

So put in a fake name and email address.

Then I had to update the iPod software. I was forced to enter my name and email address and opt-out for spam.

So put in a fake name and email address.

Then I had to update the iTunes software, where I was yet again forced to enter my email address and opt-out for spam.

So put in a fake name and email address.

On the odd chance you actually want a reply, set up a hotmail account, use it once, then throw it away.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (5, Interesting)

jcuervo (715139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337966)

On the odd chance you actually want a reply, set up a hotmail account, use it once, then throw it away.
I just use address extensions (username+whatever@hostname). This not only allows me to track where they're getting my address from, but instantly block further messages to that address. E.g., I have cuervo+slashdot for Slashdot, cuervo+z0karma for AIM, and so forth.

There are some (stupid) sites that don't allow "+" in the address, thinking it's an invalid character, so I just wrote a Postfix map to remap "" to "foo+bar" for incoming messages.

If someone sends directly to my email address without an extension who isn't in my whitelist, they get a higher SpamAssassin score.

It's been working pretty well.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338051)

oh now i know why I keep getting so many emails on my email address.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (3, Informative)

quantumraptor (818569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337949)

If you opt-out of the spam, you do not have to give your name or e-mail address.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (2)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337954)

Thats 3 times in 15 minutes that a single company attempted to get my information and permission for spam.

You cannot give permission for unsolicited communications. If you do, they're solicited and hence not spam.

Anyway, realplayer (for example) is a million times more annoying. iTunes does not require that you supply Apple with your details at all - you need only give them your e-mail if you want their newsletter thingumy.

Re:Persistent and Annoying (1)

aukset (889860) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338129)

You are probably correct, but in each instance, it still requires me to uncheck 2 checkboxes to continue. I know apple isnt the worst out there. Anyway, I was just pointing out why people may be demanding so much more privacy (and also, it was good to rant). :)

Re:Persistent and Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338105)

NOTE: If you UNCHECK the blasted email things, and hit "download", you don't need to put in an email address! JUST UNCHECK THE NEWSLETTERS

Re:Persistent and Annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338145) know you don't have to enter that info to download it from Apple, right? Just leave it blank.

I don't cotton to RUBES.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338170)

So, you know if you uncheck the newsletter boxes you can download the updates without giving them your info, right? YOU DID KNOW THAT, RIGHT?

I'd go a lot further. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337914)

I don't think that is too paranoid at all. Unless there is a specific reason for entering accurate details on web forms, surveys or anywhere that asks for personal information, I always enter false information. Usually email addresses like, admin@ or something from a rival company.

I standardly use Tor for most important websites too.

I refuse to give up any of my privacy just so someone's advertising or demographics are more accurate.

I'd rather be paranoid now than when its too late.

Re:I'd go a lot further. (1)

slowbad (714725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338043)

email addresses like, admin@ or something

Try the example address they use like ... "stupid person" filters often let that kind slide.

Just say NO to questionaires.
If news polls end up +/- 7%
the public has won the game

Re:I'd go a lot further. (3, Interesting)

EEBaum (520514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338075)

As I own my own domain, I give a new email alias (e.g. for an Amazon account) to each entity that asks me for one. Of course, none of these is the one I use for correspondence with people I know. This way, I know exactly who it was that sold my address to a spam list, and can block it with no detriment to my "real" addresses.

I find this as a compromise between real address and dead-end junk, because, for a good deal of sites, I do want them to send me the email... I just want the option to ignore all their email later, should conditions change.

Re:I'd go a lot further. (3, Informative)

pilsner.urquell (734632) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338120)

As far as I am concerned if they are in the business of making money they probably can't be trusted.

I once subscribed to a national magazine, to remained unnamed, that had a disclaimer at the bottom of there subscription form stating that all data supplied would be kept confidential. Out of curiosity I supplied a fictitious middle initial with my name. It didn't take long before I started to receive junk mail with that very obvious marker showing up.

Needless to say, the letter I wrote the magazine wasn't very nice and to this day I still occasionally employ that trick that to maintain honesty.

Re:I'd go a lot further. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338122)

You can do that in gmail.

Gmail will ignore anything in the first half of an email address after a plus sign...

example: will still go to, but you can set up internal filters to catch anything with marketer and trash it (if you want).

Its all about correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337923)

Privacy all comes down to correlation according to this blog [] .

Dumb ass question alert (4, Insightful)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337952)

As we become more connected, we have the right to be paranoid.

Bullshit. You don't have the right to be paranoid... no one can stop you from being paranoid... but that doesn't somehow impart a right to you in the same sense that you have the right to free speech or to practice your religion. Sure, you might want to be paranoid, or be inclined to be more paranoid... but that's a behavior and action a choice on your part, not some sort of right. If anything our "rights" are being assaulted by careless use of the term "right"... everything is a right so that truly important rights become lost in the sea of rights to paranoia, and right to wear a tinfoil hat in public, and my right to run Linux on every single thing that might sustain an electric current.

Please just disregard this idiotic thread.

Re:Dumb ass question alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338010)

Please. If we have a right to *anything*, it's what goes on inside our own heads. That's so basic it doesn't even need to be codified.

Re:Dumb ass question alert (4, Insightful)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338062)

In think you orthogonally hit a nail on the head. The problem with even saying that one has a "right to be paranoid" actually demeans and trivializes the Right to Privacy (a basic human right embodied in the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution).

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Also, see the Ninth Amendment:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

It's the accumulation of data on the longer term (4, Insightful)

acid_zebra (552109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337955)

that scares me. Sure, this is only a question about the industry in which you work. This other site asks you if you're married or not. Another if you have babies. Slowly but surely outfits like these are building a profile of you that would put the FBI and most stalkers to shame.

Maybe we are overreacting but what happens with this data in the long run? Who controls it? If the company that holds it goes bankrupt or is bought by another, where does the data go?

Re:It's the accumulation of data on the longer ter (1)

slowbad (714725) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338016)

this is only a question about the industry in which you work

Aerospace is my industry.
Analyst is my job title.

I always just pick the first choice on every pulldown menu. Except after 9/11 when doing free viruscans:
No need getting your IP address eventually targeted as that of an Aerospace Analyst in Afghanistan.

Mod parent up FUNNY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338178)

Ef you in in why!

Re:It's the accumulation of data on the longer ter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338191)

It doesn't put the FBI (et all) to shame since they can just buy the information from the ones collecting it.

Sensible Paranoia (1)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337956)

With the information on NSA data mining still ringing in my ears, i'm forced to consider the possibility - no , the near certainty - that all data will eventually be cataloged, whether legally, illegally, or otherwise. Answer a few of these seemingly innocuous questionaires... well, it's not deterministic, but I'm still wagering that, given enough of these simple, 'safe' answers, someone can build a fairly accurate demographic of a huge percentage of internet users.

You can't be too paranoid! (1)

TheUncleD (940548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337960)

People are for the most part, under concerned about privacy. Rights Online are one thing, but I think businesses (small ones included) should take it to the next step and concern themselves with surveillance with cameras and such to protect their homes and businesses. If you've ever been robbed before, you'll know the feeling of wishing you could prove exactly who done it. Digital surveillance is often the same way, except logfiles can be manipulated whereas its a lot more difficult to fake a filmed robbery of your home or business.

No no no! (1)

cnerd2025 (903423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337968)

"You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm tellin you why
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness' sake!"

Many people believe these are lyrics from the popular Christmas song, "Santa Claus is coming to town." Unfortunately, this is the new theme song from the NSA, the US's electronic intelligence firm. Bottom line: power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. The government acts in its best interest, which is usually to become more powerful AND keep its job. The beauty of the democratic system is that the people are granted this same right. I will happily be paranoid about privacy over giving up my rights for "security" any day of the millenium. The most agrivating proposition is that many "conservatives" (conservative had meant favoring less government intervention) are, of course, in favor of this invasion of privacy granted by such laws as the patriot act, and the power assumed by Georgie the Boy King and his agency, the NSA. They in fact are either so indoctrinated by this "crusade" for freedom or by the payoffs of power that they are in fact calling privacy paranoids "privocrats," a label intended for derision. If this is how they want to bash us, I'd favor being a privocrat everyday over some other greedy political party.

Re:No no no! (3, Interesting)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338078)

I think we're finding out who among are true conservative and who are Party Religionists. The GOP is no longer conservative (unless you consider a Theocracy conservative rather than reactionary). No, the GOP has become Socialist, as in National Socialist [] .

Oh, shit! Run! Here comes Steve Godwin!

No choice... vote against the big two. (1)

Penguinoflight (517245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338199)

Unfortunately unlike so many times in the past there is no option of voting for the "other" party. The DEM party is no more conservative, and for the most part they just fight the GOP on religious issues. The real problem is that people who have supported the GOP in the past continue to support the GOP because they fear/lothe what the DEMs are trying to do. The solution is for people to get over their fears, no matter how intense they are, and realise that living in fear isn't really living at all.

Re:No no no! (5, Informative)

quickbasicguru (886035) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338200)

National Socialism and Socialism ARE VERY DIFFERENT.

Where do "we" draw the line? (1)

Ingolfke (515826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337970)

We don't you moron! You draw your own line, make your own decisions. This bullshit idea that "we", whatever the hell that means, have to come to some sort of consensus is idiotic. Make up your own mind about what works for you and leave the rest of use alone.

Re:Where do "we" draw the line? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338113)

Unfortunately for you, "we" is usually the peoples' elected representatives and their consensus will probably differ from yours.

When it isn't elected representatives, it is usually the industry leaders who decide that self-regulation is better than gov't regulation. This process tends to lack such things as enforcability, accountability, public input, etc.

It is incredibly naive of you to think you can get away with "leave the rest of us alone" as your final word on the matter.

Every breath you take... (5, Informative)

segment (695309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337974)

Something I wrote a while back... (follow the links)

Joe Dogooder is not a criminal, in fact Joe is your average, well do-gooder. Pays his taxes, supports his family, visits his community church, where mind you, he's visited since his days as an altar boy. Normally Joe wakes up around 5:00am in hopes of making some decaffeinated coffee, followed by a quick glimpse at the New York Times Online [] , while his television is tuned to the news. Today however, Joe woke up at 5:30am - and although he won't be late, he decided not to watch television. Instead he is going to work early in order to catch up with some work.

After his shower, getting dressed, kissing his family goodbye he grabs his trusted cellphone, and heads for his car. "Welcome to OnStar [] " flares for a quick second before he turns the service off. He'd know his way to work driving blindfolded, he's been there plenty of times. After stopping for some coffee and paying with his credit card at the local 7Eleven at 6:15am, he makes a right on Main Street leading to the turnpike. Joe always has money on his EZ-Pass [] , and although it has been hacked in the past, his information is now safe. He continues to work and breezes right through the toll-booths it is now 6:21am and he's right on time.

Getting off at the Broadway exit, Joe is running pretty early, 6:41am. Pulling into the Shell gas station at 6:45am, he fills up his car and swipes his credit card again through the machine so he doesn't have to walk an extra 20 feet to pay the cashier. Stops at the local Megasupershopper store and buys some chewing gum, a soda, and some shaving cream [] . Back in his car, he finally pulls into the corporate garage at 7:00am, swipes his identification card, and continues on his way. This is pretty much a daily routine for Joe, and millions like him.

So who is this average Joe and why should you care? Joe is noone really important, what's important is that you understand how Joe's movements were tracked and how dangerous can be at some point. TiVo recently shoved their foot in their mouths [] when they announced that Janet Jackson's breast of mass destruction was the most rewound video capture. Meaning? Watch a TiVo, they'll know it, what time, what it was, and who did it - you do after all have your information attached to it.

Joe also decided to check the news via the New York Times [] , and he had to sign into his account in order to do so, meaning his information was gathered there too. What time he logged in, and from where. Sure he could have registered with false information, after all it's free, but unless he decided to manually change his IP address somehow - whether via proxy or other means - the New York Times [] has his information. This is not to say in any way the New York Times [] is selling your information or using it against you, I don't know their policies, I'm simply trying to make you aware of the signs of the 'Times'

We can also average out a time where Joe starts his car every single day for as long as we'd like using his OnStar information [] , we can determine a definitive pattern of his daily life with ease. What about the chewing gum?, simple, RFID tags gave us that info. Now this may not be a big deal considering Joe Dogooder is an upstanding citizen so he would have nothing to hide. John Cheatman is an altogether different story.

John has been having an affair on his wife of 30 years, and he happens to be a millionaire. Wonder what he'd do if someone threw together a video portrait of his weekly (Thursday 7:00pm to be exact) sexcapade with his executive assistant. I wonder how much he'd be willing to pay to stop that from being exposed. Hell, one could make a fortune between him and his wife if they wanted.

Jack K. Politician is another upstanding guy. He's running for his local seat against Todd R. Hardstone who's known to pull of some dirty campaign tricks. Hardstone's team decided they were going all out this time leaving no digital trick undone. Forging email [] headers to make it seem as if Jack was sending out racist comments, creating all sorts of digital chaos. If you think it doesn't happen in government, think again [] . It's actually done with ease for those in the computer security field, and for anyone who would be willing to invest a few hours time learning the ropes. Aside from that, money talks, meaning someone can hire a "lone gunman" if you will to do the deeds for you.

Pretty boring writing so far you could say, surely it is, I mean people are all good hearted they would never do such a thing. Who would want to track someone like that. Well, did you know Choicepoint [] claims to have about 16 billion records on American citizens? 16 billion is a hell of a lot considering there are only about 300 million citizens, so average that out for yourself and ask yourself, what do they have on me? They claim they can track everything and anything known about someone: where they lived, how much money they made, what kind of car they're driving (insurance records), etc. Sure you signed some 'passport' disclaimer on some site that stated they wouldn't sell your information, did they implicitly specify they wouldn't sell your information, and if so to whom, and will they sell your information? Think about law for a second here. If someone stole your automobile in Texas, sold it to someone in Utah, who in turn sold it to someone in New York and you found it, do you lose the right to your car, even if the buyer purchased what he thought was legitimate? How can companies get away with redistributing the most sensitive and vital information of your life with ease?

Where is the privacy you ask? You gave it away. No one else but you.

Some may snicker when groups like the ACLU [] , EPIC -- Electronic Privacy Information Center [] , Electronic Frontier Foundation [] , and others like them fight these things, many don't know the extent of what companies are gathering, or monitoring. These unsung heroes of privacy have gone against Big Brother - for those who don't know - and I'm not referring to the television show. Angry? I bet you are, in fact I'd be willing to bet a huge majority who read through this whole document will probably take a "oh well nothing I could do about it anyway" view on this subject. While I could - I guess - give out some pointers, I won't. Instead I'll let you go back to focusing on the more important things in life. You know, Martha's shoes [] or Janet's Breast of Mass Destruction [] .

Re:Every breath you take... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338101)

Something I wrote a while back... (follow the links)

I can do you one better. I use my boilerplate privacy rant so often it's on my clipboard at all times as:

PASSWORD no1haxmysecur3id


Is there such a thing as a slashdot kiddie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14337975)

same freaking shit

Oh, please. (4, Insightful)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14337980)

Targeted advertising by user opt-in newsletters and e-mail campaigns (unlike spamming) or internal market research to get a grasp on its customer base isn't unethical, in my opinion.

Saying something isn't unethical "in my opinion" borders on redundancy. Ethics are simply a set of defined rules, and by definition are subjective. But that's not my real point.

Targeting advertising email is spam. The thing that distinguishes spam is the sender's attitude toward non-respondents. A spammer doesn't care what his non-respondents think of him -- he's only interested in the response rate. An advertiser with an ounce of sense realizes that he's going to drive away people by spamming, and doesn't want that. A spammer doesn't care.

A targeted email campaign may be more effective than simple spam, but it's still spam. Cleaning up your list will improve your response rate, but it still is going to drive people away.

I'm not generally in favor of the death penalty, but in the case of people who use my inbox for their foul spam, I'm on the fence.

Re:Oh, please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338192)

Saying something isn't unethical "in my opinion" borders on redundancy. Ethics are simply a set of defined rules, and by definition are subjective.

As a student with a more than small interest in ethics, I feel the converse should be shared that there is a large community of ethisits who belive that there is in fact a universal ruleset to define right and wrong. Those who view questions of right and wrong are known as simple subjectivists or ethical relativists, and are generally only touched on college level ethics courses to illustrate a point that without a universal ruleset it becomes impossible to judge practices especially other cultures without becoming ethnocentric [] .

My take: (2, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338005)

"Targeted advertising by user opt-in newsletters and e-mail campaigns (unlike spamming) or internal market research to get a grasp on its customer base isn't unethical, in my opinion."

Prvacy violation or not, the information is obviously of value to the advertisers, especially if they're paying a third-party to collect it. If it's valuable enough for them to pay money for it, it's valuable enough for me not to part with it without seeing some of that money.

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338025)

This article COMPLETELY misses the point. I don't care if spammers know if I'm a university student or a fast food worker. What I do care about, is being hassled to tell them. When I buy something, I don't want to have to bother telling them my postcode, phone number, or which industry I work in. Now if it served some purpose to the item/service I was purchasing, fine. But when it's just to sell my info (or to perform their l33t marketing tools on) I'm going to get annoyed.

As advertisers work to get into my home more and more, I'm becoming less and less tolerant of them. Unobtrusive ads that don't collect or use peronal information on me, I'm fine with. But when they start serving me ads based on what country I live in, or pester me about what my age is or are louder then the shows I'm watching, I become annoyed. It isn't about privacy, it's about comfort. I'm not going to provide them with my personal information, unless they offer me a damn good reason for them to have it. They should use what information I naturally give them, and be happy they get that. The idea that it's perfectly fine for shops to expect me to answer any questions they want, is ridiculous (IMO). I'm going shopping to buy items, I'm not going shopping to provide them with demographic information for them to utilize/sell. They should remember what the purpose of their stores are, and to stop trying to be advertising firms. I'm not going to lie to them, I'm simply going to refuse to tell them. If they're going to annoy me with asking for my personal information, I'm going to annoy them by not playing along.

Tigerdirect rebate is no rebate at all. (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338038)

The rebate in question is affiliated with Tigerdirect, which anyone who trolls for incredible internet pricing will tell you is notorious for not actually issuing rebates, or when they do it's 6-9 months later. So it's not as if we're talking about a particularly ethical company to begin with.

But on another issue, I find the linked article itself to be a troll. The framework of the question starts out right off that bat as "is this sane or insane privacy". By polarzing the issue into a "sane or insane" we lose perspective on this issue and start fighting for one of the two particular sides the author has chosen. This sounds more like a Crossfire! type discussion than a real look at the issues.

Stepping back from the linked article perspective, I'd like to present a different one. Is not providing all the rebate details upfront a breach of contract? If I advertise a $20 rebate for a product, but fail to disclose that you'll have also have to buy $200 in magazine subscriptions until after you've already bought the product, that's not a valid contract.

My major problem (and I think the original posters major problem) is the lack of upfront details on the rebate. Had they told him you'd have to provide job function, company size, etc before they'd issue the rebate then you can make an informed decision if those specific details are worth the rebate price. When they don't tell you the full details of the contract then I think that's at least an ethical violation, and possibly an invalid contract. If you dig deep enough you can eventually find the form to fill out without first buying the product, but who expects a rebate form to ask anything but where to send the check, and who to make the check out to? I certainly don't.

But as I said previously, tigerdirect isn't exactly well known for holding up their end of the bargain.

Re:Tigerdirect rebate is no rebate at all. (1)

bitMonster (189384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338172)

I'm 2 for 2 on tigerdirect HDD rebates, each for at least $50. They do a good job of providing the complete rebate info on their site before you even buy the product. I actually trust their rebates more because of this attention to detail.

They have been OK by me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338176)

I've received all my rebates from TD, in the time frame specified up front. Typing this from an econo box I built with all "under rebate" deals from that store. All the checks came in, they all cashed. Case, mobo, ram and cpu, I used my existing drives is all. Knock on wood, but my experience there so far is 100% good.

Yes. (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338042)

When the extra time lost from reinforcing privacy issues exceeds the average cost(that is, probability of privacy being violated x time it takes to recover from privacy violation), then it's useless. We see this all time - companies building shoddy products because it's worth their time to just send a new product or deal with tech support for the few who whine than to remake/design their product. Notice - if your data is infinitely valuable, you can't ever be too paranoid.

I don't know... (0, Flamebait)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338063)

Try asking President Bush.

Need To Know Basis (2, Interesting)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338088)

You draw the line when whoever your giving data to, doesn't need to know. For instance, if I buy something in a hardware store, and the clerk asks for my name and address for the recipt, I'll be annoyed, but given that the expensive hardware may break, I'll go along generally.

However, if the company starts asking my age, education level, bank account number, purchase history etc, I'm going to be seriously offended. If they do, I just lie outright. Give the dirty data fiends some serious false positives. Why I'm a 36 year old primary school dropout who will be buying at least $20,000 worth of home applicances this year.

No idea what he's talking about. (1)

psu_whammy (940612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338095)

It's not that there's anything bad about marketing information by itself.

It's that, unlike say 20 years ago, my personal information is in a file along with hundreds of thousands/millions of other people, and one break can give a potential user of said information free reign on millions of people.

Plus, nothing says "please ignore my argument" like a dictionary definition used as an argument, like the dictionary definition is the ONLY way a word can be used in all situations.

Not worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338099)

This is more about a review of an article that was originally a rant.... So it is a rant on a rant... When did this become news???????

Anon Coward

yes, you can be too paranoid (1)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338119)

You can kill people who find out your real name. You can move above the Arctic circle or to some other remote region, not telling anyone where you are going. You can vanish into the wilds of Alaska, surviving as best you can. You can burn off your fingerprints, and disfigure your face so no one can recognize you from your old life. Any activity or state of mind can be taken to a pathological level.

Or did I misunderstand the question? Thinking that government and business want to track, monitor, and ultimately control your actions and even thoughts is far from being too paranoid. I'd call it a willingness to admit the obvious. Some people don't care, but anyone remotely concerned about privacy would worry about the direction things are taking.

Thou shalt always (2, Interesting)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338128)

provide false and misleading information.
NEVER give anyone anything, ever.
The *ONLY* exceptions are banking and police/gubmint.
Everyone else gets a flaming chainsaw up the ass sideways..

I often find myself... (4, Informative)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338146)

...using the money argument when a cashier asks for too much. Face it - typical information collection at a cash register (as an example) is big bucks - and when someone crosses a line, I answer that I'll be happy to sell them the information.

The result is the typical baffled look, since it isn't the typical "paranoid" response. I then ask them how much their company paid for the "collection module" for their POS software - I know it isn't cheap. I then ask what they paid to have it setup, and have the results of this current campaign implemented. That isn't cheap either.

I then ask how long it takes the average cashier to gather the desired information. 15 seconds? How long does the average cash transaction take without this? 30 seconds? By gathering this info, we've effectively cut the cashier throughput - meaning to maintain that throughput, the store needs to increase its cashier staff by that amount... a full third in this example. That is NOT cheap.

Clearly my zipcode is worth an assload of money, I conclude... and if they are willing to spend THAT kind of money to get it, then I'm an idiot to just GIVE AWAY something they deem so valuable.

That's the general concept, at least... and it is quite effective as it cannot be argued against. This information clearly has significant value; Paranoid has nothing to do with it.

Yeah. (1)

EddyPearson (901263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338181)

Yeah, we are. Every now and again i stumble accross another unfortunate misled user on IRC panicing...

f00l: Hey, i was hearing about this new technology thats the minitary is making is going to intercept wireless signals

me: So?

f00l: So what if iranian wi-fi pirates get hold of one?

me: Um?

f00l: Yeah, some guy on slashdot said that they're growing as an organisation.
me: Ok, so?
f00l: SO? So somebody is proabaly sitting outside in a brand new (but dodgy looking) BMW. Tracking my evey move by American developed spy tools, this explains so much, Why the mail-man has been coming late, What i thought was a dog tearing up my rubbish bags, its now much more likely to be hydro-phobic alien people, brought here to maintain a close eye (after all, wikipedia says they do have over 327.8) upon me.

me: ...

f00l: And my e-mail? By now there's probably another foreign terrorist watching all of the people i've send e-mail too! And they've probably made it so that if my bandwidth consumption falls, below 50kb/s, then WERE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!!

OK, so not quite this insane.

But nowadays we're focusing so much on what the "bad people" could do to us. We spent very little time looking at weather these "bad people" actually exist, and weather they could care less about spending time and money terrorisimg the general public.

Of course I'm paranoid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14338184)

Of course I'm paranoid. Everyone is trying to kill me!

If you're paranoid, it's already too much (2, Interesting)

Yosho (135835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338201)

By definition, paranoia is a mental delusion. If you are paranoid about your security, you've already gone too far. Maybe "cautious" is the word you're looking for (and no, I don't think you can be too cautious).

Strange Days (2, Interesting)

Mark Trade (172948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14338213)

The issue isn't whether you're (too) paranoid, but whether you're paranoid enough.
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