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Connecticut Governor Seeks to Protect Personal Data Online

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the uphill-battle dept.

Privacy 59

Technical Writing Geek alerts us to a report that Connecticut governor Jodi Rell has begun to develop legislation to create an "opt-out" registry to prevent the distribution of personal information on the internet. The registry would be analogous to the "Do Not Call" list. This comes after Rell received many complaints about the availability of personal data from directory assistance sites such as WhitePages and 411.com. While Rell understands that the "sites are breaking no law by gathering and disseminating this information," the legislation will add to the work she has done to re-evaluate the disposition of private data. Where do we draw the line between free speech and privacy in the information age? From the Journal Inquirer: "'Privacy concerns are constantly evolving,' Rell said. 'We must not only keep up with them but do our best to stay ahead of the curve.' Rell said she will ask state agencies to review private information about residents that the state collects, manages, and distributes."

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Funny this article came up. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838112)

I was just finishing up a post on my blog [contactlog.net] about privacy.

Re:Funny this article came up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838236)

I was just finishing my 18th century guillotine. Care to join the beta test program?

Re:Funny this article came up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838526)

Now we've got people registering domains to redirect to myminicity, wtf?

"Private" property. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838124)

"Technical Writing Geek alerts us to a report that Connecticut governor Jodi Rell has begun to develop legislation to create an "opt-out" registry to prevent the distribution of personal information on the internet. "

Good thing there's no such thing as "virtual" property then.

Publish personal details of all company board (3, Insightful)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838140)

Since "now law is broken" by companies for publishing out private information, we can plead the same by publishing the company's members information online.
Every single stockholder, boardmember, CEO, lawyer, employee contact information (including public and private numbers and addresses) should be published online 411.com by us.
Once the mighty CEOs and CFOs see their private and unlisted numbers plus email IDs online, am sure the congress and senate would go overnight to enact a law preventing that from happening.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838164)

Ummm.. if you can get it then how is it private information? Assuming, of course, that you are a member of the public and haven't broken any laws to obtain the information. That would seem to be the definition of public knowledge.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838664)

Call it "intended to be private".

Just because you can social engineer it out of people doesn't mean it was intended to be known.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839246)

I do believe the idea here is "how did they get it?" Your name and phone number may be published in phone books from the phone company to which you subscribe, but you can easily enough opt out (become unlisted) and then that information is no longer publically accessible. Your e-mail address, employer, physical address, and more should not be part of public record. Sure, that information may be contained in legal and tax documents held by your local, state, or federal govt offices, but when requesting (legally) copies of documents that do not reference YOU directly, then the office of gov't providing you the copies is supposed to blank out (with heavy, permanant black marker or other obscuring technique) any personal data.

So how are they coming aboiut your information "legally?" This is where the state of CT actually has some power. It may not be in their power to make it illegal for you to have that data from public records, or even to publish it, but they can make it illegal to have any gov't office provide it to a 3rd party, and they can allow you to do this through an opt out list, or simply make it the default policy. They can also require the companies traficking in personal information to list how and when they acquired your data (and individually which peices of it) upon request, make it illegal to resel lists on which people have not opted IN to being included, and more.

Here's an example where I have issue: I'm selling a house. Any person can request from a city office to tell them how much I paid for that house. In the market where I'm selling my home, this clearly indicates that I greatly underpaid for my home 2 years ago vs the current market value, and that I will be making a substantial profit selling it. This is regardless of it's real appriased value with is still even higher. If I go to buy a used car, I can "ASK" to know how much the dealer paid for it, but I can't legally acquire that information independetly. Nor can I do so for the shiny new HDTV I want from a local electronics store. How is it legal for people, or real estate companies, to get this information from the city office on a simple request? If I had bought the house for more money, or if I had bought it this year instead of last year, the value I paid on paper would be higher, and I would not be haggling over such a drastic price difference. Am I not allowed to take advantage of a lucky deal and make money? The buyer can even determine how much I owe on the mortgage on the property by following a paper trail and having a realtor make a credit inquiry. This should not be legal. This is PRIVATE information. Were it legal to do this in all forms of sales, the margins on products acress the board would collapse and the US market would go into an instant depression and the dollar would fall to all-time low values.

While I'm talking about mortgages, how is it that the value of my mortgage is so readily available to hundreds of companies offering me credit cards, home loans, refinance, cash advances and more. How is my personal credit report open in such a way, but even I have to PAY to see a copy!?!? ...and there's no way for me to secure my credit information (though I can prevent new accounts being created, I can't stop them from pulling my report at will).

How much I pay in taxes, what kind of car I drive, where I live, my numbers and e-mails, all of this is important and private information. IT SHUOLD BE ILLEGAL TO GET THIS UNLESS I SPECIFICALLY OPT-IN TO ALLOW YOU TO COLECT IT, and then you can't resel that information unless I specifically opt-in to allow you to sell it. the opt-in process should not legally be allowed to be a byline in some contract either, or some hidden or automatic option, but should be legally required to be a seperate complete document that must be individually agreed to and signing it can NEVER be made a condition of any contract, service, or sale of any kind.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840328)

How much I pay in taxes, what kind of car I drive, where I live, my numbers and e-mails, all of this is important and private information.
Your taxes are public information, and should be public information, in my opinion. I do agree with you, however, that it is silly that people can pull up your financial reports like that. You are entitled, by law, to receiving 1 "Free" credit report per year per credit agency (In the US). While I think this is bs - it should be available anytime for free - at least it is there.

Great post. Mod parent up.

This all comes down to... (1)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841994)

This all comes down to whether the law sees this data as "YOUR data", or "data ABOUT YOU". I think the law should be written that says it is your data. Thus anyone that wants to use it has to get your permission to use it. If there is any kind of "Intellectual Property" that really exists, it is your personal information.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (2, Interesting)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842184)

Why should my taxes be of public(ally accessibly) record? Sure, there needs to be a back tracable record for auditing purposes, tax income to SSN and what not, but why should an individual outside of a government or 3rd party auditing firm have any access to that information? The general public needs to know the total taxes collected, and how that divides up by taxe type, code, and region, but not down the the detail of which individual paid (or owes) how much. This information has no interest or value on an individual to individual basis except to be abused by marketers to target me for products or services. If I offer this information by opting into an advertising matrix then they can have it. If I have no interest in credit cards I don't want to get 8 mailers a week offering me one. This is called selective initiated target advertising, and if people comply and list themselves for specific products then companies can save billions in falsly targeted mailings and the information I want to keep private can remain private.

The government needs to know how much to bill me for taxes, and wether or not i have paid it, sure. I can see where companies that issue credit or loans need to be aware of your credit rating and wether or not you have outstanding tax or other collections against you, but that information should be kept between you, the government, and the company you authorized to use that information for a specific purpose, it should not be out there for everyone to peruse! They shuold not be able to simply look that stuff up at will, but shuold be required, like when switching phone companies, to get 3rd party real time authorization.

If i want to switch from my local phone company's long distance plan to AT&T, I not only have to get on the line with AT&T, but they have to get a 3rd party on the line to confirm 1) i am who I say I am and 2) to confirm I authorized the change. Only then can AT&T file the paperwork to switch me. Some company offering me credit should have to do the same: 1) contact me in some way, or get me to contact them, 2) get my approval, with a 3rd party firm on the line at the same time to access my credit detail history, then and only then 3) access my detailed credit report. Prior to this point, all they should be able to get is my beacon score, debt to income ratio, and last year's income figures, and only if they already have my name and address and if I have not opted out of allowing them that information. They should have no knowledge of any collections against me, loan balances, number of credit cards, or anything else. If they want to offer me services, all they need is to know if I qualify in general. If I want their services, then can perform a full qualification, but only with 3rd party approval. They should not be given information outside of what qualifies or declines me (the fact that I have 6 credit cards with a total balance of $2000, $300 available is important, and wether or not I'm making payments on time, but who those cards are with is irrelevent) How much I PAID for my house has no bearing on what I'm selling it for, only what it's appraised for (to a potential buyer) and my loan balance (to another lender) has any bearing there. Maybe how long I've owned it... Even that information should be by individual request only and not published in some freely available list. Consumers should not be able to get a detailed list of what each house on my street sold for and when, but should only be able to get estimates or averages, or price ranges in 25, 50, 100, or 250K (based on total price). For example, if I bought my house for 182K, all anyone should be able to know is in 2006 when that happened, i paid between 150K and 200K for it, they should not see my exact closing price.

If every company offering or merketing a service, loan, credit, or porduct had to get my permission before accessing my personal information, and confirm that permission with a 3rd party auditing firm, then identity theft would be MUCH harder to pull off. I'd get less junk mail and spam, better targeted advertising, and products I wanted to buy would likely cost LESS (since there would not be the mass advertising through mailers, e-mail, and other expensive forms going on to parties dis-interested in the products bneing offered).

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842262)

Tax info has personal interest to me: Yesterday I was looking up tax information for my entire neighborhood. It IS useful to see which houses could potentially "ripe" for a deal for me to snatch up. Granted, it hasn't happened yet, but I have a vision of purchasing my entire neighborhood for a "re-engineered" community in an older neighborhood (built in the late 50s/60s). My neighborhood is decent now, but should I gain a majority control of it, I can make it even better.

You may not agree with my reasoning, but at the same time I shouldn't see your sales price, a prospective buyer should have tools available to see what the value is. (Or, for example, that the taxes on the house fluctuated, say, from $2400 7 years ago to $3700 now. That makes a big difference on a decision of where to live).

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842692)

Taxation is done by millage and zone, not by individual house, so you seeing exactly what I paid is irrelevent. You only need to know the estimated value of the property you plan to buy combined with the current and historical millage rates to determine the tax history for a proerty in a given neighborhood. You do NOT need access to my personal tax records, or my personal information to do so.

Keeping a record of the appraised value of a property is fine, so long as this information can be requested only by licnesed personel, and only on a single proeprty by property basis (so you can't pull the value of every home all at once and target market the residents). If you are genuinely interested in purchasing up your whole neighborhood, your real estate agent should be able to show you the value of the properties that are currently for sale, as well as those whose owners have opted in to seeing that information, but for those comfortable in their homes and not interested in your sales pitch to buy it out from them, well, you'll just have to suffice with a market valuation estimate based on the visible condition of the property and its features vs the appraised values of nearby units (or a market approximation rounded to not closer than 10% of the properties sale value if purchaed within the last 2 years). Also, companies not working for specific named buyers should not have access to that information (if you're not planning to buy it, or if I have not requested a loan from you, you should not be able to determine the value of my property with anything more than an general estimating tool).

A buyer should not have access to my information. A certified and registered agent should, but he should have to do it 1 lot at a time. (If you're buying dozens of lots it's worth his time, but if your a bank trying to collect target marketing information, it should cost you the time just the same. Lets not make it easy for them!). An agent who abuses his power, provides information to anyone who is not a signed buyer of his agency, or in any way is found to abuse your private information should loose their license to do so on the first conviction.

This information should be accessible, but only to parties that have a government approved reason to access it, and use that information in conjuction with approved policy, and only if you have not blocked them from doing so (or better yet, opted IN to them doing so). Unless a specific number or detail is of critical importance (like to the bank signing the loan) then an estimate of varying accuracy (depending on the party requesting the information, the type of information requested, and for what purpose) is all that should be provided.

Like i said, if my house was appraised 9 months ago for 212,000, and I have it listed on the market for sale, an agent should be able to see that information (but not you personally). If it's not listed currently, they should see only that my appraisal was for $200-225K.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21843148)

Being able to look at how much in property tax *each* house in your town is paying is a good way to make sure that the local taxman isn't gouging certain owners while letting others off with much lower bills. When new folks move into town, especially into a rural community, they can find themselves footing far more than their fair share of the local tax bill. The good ole boy network is alive and well at city hall.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21845422)

In the case of property tax, the basis is a somewhat subjective assessment of property. I have every right to look at yours and compare it with mine, to see if I should challenge the assessment on my property. Before moving to a new city, I might legitimately use this tax data in the planning process.

On the other hand, the calculations for other taxes are straightforward. Income tax returns have no public value, and a great potential for abuse. So I have no problem with keeping those private.

Everything else is somewhere between these extremes and is now subject to debate.

In general, when the government HAS information, the data belongs to the taxpayers collectively. After all, we OWN the government. With a few notable exceptions, the taxpayers have a right to get the information. This is the basis for the "Freedom of Information Act" -- mostly a good thing.

I agree that the Internet opens up some new opportunities for abuse, but withholding public information has a pretty steep downside as well. As a taxpayer, I expect a transparent view of how tax money is collected and spent.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838838)

It is not hard to find any of the information that you are asking about. Any public corporation will have SEC data about all of its officers.

Take 411.com. Scroll to the bottom and see that it is run by Whitepages.com, Inc. They have an "about us" page with a leadership section. On that page are all the names you need to get started. Let's start with the top: Alex Algard, Founder and CEO. Searching for him on 411.com yields:

Algard, Alexander & Susie K
1005 5th Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119-3613

3 blocks from their main offices... so, yeah, that's him. Hard, huh?

CEOs not only have less privacy than us already, they have more people looking for them.

Re:Publish personal details of all company board (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21844126)

I like that idea.

You would also want to include as much information as possible: Name, Phone Number, Address, Email, DOB, SSN, Credit Score, etc.

I'm not sure why immigration gets more people riled up in this country than the fact that anyone with $50 can access most of your personal and professional information.

The only problem is who wants to be the fall-boy/girl who runs the website. I can almost guarantee that even if no law is broken you will get a civil lawsuit for each person's information you post.

Opt-out? Meh. (2, Insightful)

Xenkar (580240) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838174)

I wish just once that one of these politicians would have the balls to make it opt-in, with written consent required and none of that "hidden deep within a contract" crud. Perhaps requiring a public notary to stamp it too might be beneficial.

I know for sure that I'd sleep well if these opt-out lowlifes lost their jobs.

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838274)

I really don't get it as well. It would be much easier to just copy some of the european data protection legislation, which has been proven to work (unless the politicians undermine it for their own (surveillance etc.) purpose).

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (1)

Daver297 (1208086) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838326)

which is so likely to happen here.. its not always that the bill itself is bad, its normally once it makes its way through all the changes, make it worthless or a completely seperate bill...

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838796)

european data protection legislation, which has been proven to work

Why do you think it works?

I get cold calls and personally addressed spam and only competitors, not recipients, have the right to sue about that.
I have to publish my personal address in whois databases if I want a domain name.
I have to present my id-card to get a prepaid mobile phone.
ID cards and passports come with RFID chips which contain digital biometric pictures and fingerprints.
There's private video surveillance everywhere.
All phone call metadata, including location information, is going to be recorded and stored for six months beginning next tuesday.
It is technically illegal to keep web server log files with IP addresses, but everybody (including government) does it and there's nothing anybody can do about it.

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (1, Insightful)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839400)

There's private video surveillance everywhere.

Not everywhere; the UK is not everywhere. It's strongly regulated in France; well, that is, until sarkonazi decides to "reform" this, as he has already hinted. And by "reform", I of course mean "fuck shit up to favor the rich & powerful at the expense of the people."

All phone call metadata, including location information, is going to be recorded and stored for six months beginning next tuesday.

That's bad alright, but *at least* there is some legal protection against unauthorized use of such data. As in, if someone illegally accesses this information, they risk prison time. Whether this is observed at all is another issue, but at least, it is at lest theoretically illegal, unlike in the US where your bank can basically know what brand of hemorroid cream you use.

It is technically illegal to keep web server log files with IP addresses, but everybody (including government) does it and there's nothing anybody can do about it.

It is somewhat illegal, but not actively policed, which would be quite a waste of time anyway. However, anti-piracy outlets have found the hard way that not respecting privacy laws has consequences: copyright infrigement lawsuits against p2p users have been lost by them because of this.
Note that it's not that hard to be compliant, AFAIK: you just need to comply with the requirements of the law. Notify the authority that you are collecting data, notify the users of their right of access and modification, and that should be enough. I am not anal, though.

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21839578)

Why do you think it works?
Well, it does actually work, for private citizens and companys, the governments however think they're above all this.

I get cold calls and personally addressed spam and only competitors, not recipients, have the right to sue about that.
You can't sue them for damages or other monetary compensation, you can however demand that they tell you where and how they got your data, and that they erase anything they have about you.

I have to publish my personal address in whois databases if I want a domain name.
That's apparently part of the government program to suppress anonymous speech.

I have to present my id-card to get a prepaid mobile phone.
I believe that should have changed with the arrival of prepaid contracts at the large discounters. Do you really think they have/take the time to check and register your ID at the cachsier of Aldi?

There's private video surveillance everywhere.
Which is quote strictly regulated. regarding the areas that cam be filmed and the time the video can be archived (it's measured in single digit days if I'm not mistaken). Actual enforcement id probably lacking, just like the IP-address-logging of web-servers and ISPs.

All phone call metadata, including location information, is going to be recorded and stored for six months beginning next tuesday.
Which aside from beeing completely useless, is against the constitution in my opinion.

It is technically illegal to keep web server log files with IP addresses, but everybody (including government) does it and there's nothing anybody can do about it.
That one's really a problem, because Attorneys and the police actually assume that you have them, and demand to get them. None have actually followed up on requsts I've gotten, apparently because a lack of monetary damages severely limits the "pressure" to discover/prosecute the cases.

Re:Opt-out? Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21840310)

You can't sue them for damages or other monetary compensation, you can however demand that they tell you where and how they got your data, and that they erase anything they have about you.

Fat lot of good that does. If they don't simply ignore you, you'll know who called you in violation of the law, but you still can't do anything about it (because you are not allowed to sue for that and because privacy laws are toothless.)

Do you really think they have/take the time to check and register your ID at the cachsier of Aldi?

They did check mine. I know that I can get around that, but the law is not on the side of privacy. And where the law is on the side of privacy...:

Actual enforcement is probably lacking

Which is what I would characterize as "the law does not work."

clueless (2, Interesting)

Power_Pentode (1123285) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838248)

Once that opt-out list is complete, how much do you think spammers and scammers will pay for it? Oh, wait -- you're going to give access to anyone running a directory or investigative website? What could possibly go wrong?

Re:clueless (1)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839274)

if it's opt-out, you'd only need to record the information of people who want to receive the information anyhow, would you?

Re:clueless (1)

redxxx (1194349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839540)

Well, the article seems to be comparing it to "do not call lists" and talks about being on the list to not have your information distributed.

I think they are using the terminology oddly. As I'm reading it, it is a list which people can join, which allows them to opt-out of the free service of having your information sold to the highest bidder.

"The basic concept is to prevent collecting information without the consumer's consent," Blumenthal said. "If the consumer objects to collecting the information and says, 'Do not track me when I travel the Internet,' that wish should be respected, and this law would compel marketers to protect that right under consumer privacy."

seems to really be opt-in, and they are just misusing the term, but I could be mistaken. They could be doing something pretty great and kinda new when it comes to protecting consumers, but being them politicians I pretty much doubt it.

Re:clueless (1)

Gregb05 (754217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840246)

Ah, I misunderstood and didn't take the time to RTFA (!new here)

The registry itself is opt-in, the point of it is that you would "opt out" of letting retailers legally distribute your information. I'm not terribly excited about the benefits of this. It would probably be more effective to require an opt-in or opt-out from any company that exchanges data, but I'm no lawyer nor a politician.

hahahaha (1, Redundant)

Martian_Kyo (1161137) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838264)

'Do not track me when I travel the Internet' will work as well 'dont rob me I am carrying a million dollars'

Re:hahahaha (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838480)

The Do Not Call list was one thing. It regulated who could make solicitations over a well regulated medium, where it's (relatively) easy to hold the caller responsible for their actions. You weren't trying to control information (all phone numbers are known, and most are published publicly in the phone book.), you were trying to control actions on that information.

Now they want to regulate the transfer of information. Information with value. Such regulation is only worthwhile until that information gets 'into the wild'. At that point, further attempts to protect it become useless. As there is value in getting that information into 'the wild', efforts will be made to do so. Some efforts will be legit, others will be the equivalent to black market. It will be utterly useless I'm afraid.

The only value might be in how they hold corporations responsible for violations of said regulation. That's what's currently lacking. Not regulation on how they can use it, but specific, punitive penalties on misusing it.

which cup is the pea under & who's asking? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838266)

we have no (0) secrets at all where it really counts, with yOUR creators. believing otherwise is self decetion. as for information pilferers, if someone is determined to find out something, they will. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'.

we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) corepirate nazi felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster.

the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way.

the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available after the big flash.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US;

gov. bush denies health care for the little ones

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Hmmmm (2, Interesting)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838394)

The registry would be analogous to the "Do Not Call" list.
In the sense that it, too, will be a totally ineffective waste of time?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

l4m3z0r (799504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838968)

In the sense that it, too, will be a totally ineffective waste of time?

The "Do Not Call" list has been extremely effective for me. The only calls I receive now are to people with whom I have a preexisting relationship, ie ive donated money to them before(like a political party) or I went to school there. In fact, I only ever had one call that I think was in violation of the list and I told them that 1) im on the "Do Not Call" list and 2) dont call me again or ill report this abuse. I have not received a call from them since.

I dont see how it can be a waste of time(for you anyway), it takes 20 secs to add yourself to the list, even if everyone ignored it at most you wasted 20 secs and Ive found that mentioning it when telling them to stop calling adds weight. Before the list, I would tell people stop calling and they would happily ignore.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21855060)

Maybe you live in a jurisdiction where it has some legal weight. Maybe he doesn't. I don't even know if we have such a thing.

where is the line (3, Insightful)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838610)

the article asks

where do we draw the line between privacy and free speech?

generally, if you own the press you can print what you want,~~

with a few caveats, however, and as these are well established there is no need for discussion

1. you should not publish slander

2. you should not infringe other folk's copyrights

3. you should not involve in a conspiracy to commit crime

Is my personal information copyright protected? I see no reason why it shouldn't be and in a day and age where we have more hackers than Hollywood had stage robbers there are good reasons why we should protect everyone's personal data by law.

Re:where is the line (1)

gclef (96311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838760)

One problem: you can't copyright facts. You can copyright specific collections of facts (eg: phone books), but you can't copyright the underlying fact itself. For example, telling people your phone number does not violate Verizon's copyright on the phone book, since you're just sharing a fact. If you scanned the entire phone book & sent it to someone, that would violate Verizon's copyright on the phone book.

So, is your personal data a copyright-able expression of an idea, or is it a set of facts? If it's a set of facts, you can't copyright it.

Privacy Protection (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838870)

generally when we provide personal information to a provider such as Ma Bell it is with permission and with an expectation of confidentiallity

now with the phone company we have had to ask for our number to be un-listed and many of us have done this for years as it has been necessary to prevent the ditzies from mis-using the information.

the mis-use of information will most likely result in a marked tightening of privacy law. information that is currently a matter of public record may have to be moved to secure areas and made available only after permission has been obtained

the sooner the better

Re:Privacy Protection (1)

gclef (96311) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838990)

the mis-use of information will most likely result in a marked tightening of privacy law.

In America? Good luck with that. Databases of personal information are considered business assets. A number of very large organizations (phone companies, cable companies, google, microsoft, etc) have these databases. If you make those illegal or heavily restrict them it will be taken as a huge hit to the value of those assets. This will be noted on the earnings statements of every one of them, and will likely cause a number of these companies to lose stock value. No politician in their right mind wants to be the one known for wiping scads of dollars off the stock market.

It'll never happen. The best we can hope for at this point is a law making the consequences for screwing up much higher.

Re:Privacy Protection (1)

Grampaw Willie (631616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839554)

good point

not everything that has been done in the past has had the best interest of the private citizen at heart

and I think that today there is an under-tow of change toward privacy regulations. and that is a good thing.

i might provide my personal information to one corporation as a part of a service agreement. does that give them the right to sell that information to advertisers? more and more I'm seeing this question and here and there corporate agreements have even offered an option to prevent the distribution of that information

trouble is we had it backward to begin with. but in our world today where good manners and "doing the right thing" have gone down the gutter what should be expect?

Re:where is the line (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838956)

Your information isn't "copyright" per se, but needs to be treated the same as any other information published by a phone book. i.e. If you have a private unlisted number, then your contact information isn't published.

Personally I don't see what the big uproar is. An online phone book has the same content as the printed phone book. If you don't want your information published, you pay extra for an unlisted number. The same should apply to the online phone book.

Re:where is the line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21840596)

If you don't want your information published, you pay extra for an unlisted number. The same should apply to the online phone book.

Excellent idea! I run onlinephonebook.com, so if anyone wants their number to be unlisted, they should send me $15 a month.

Oh, and I also run onlinephonebook2.com, getting unlisted from that site will be another $15. And onlinephonebook3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and a few hundred more, they're easy to automatically generate.

Enjoy opting out. I know I will be!

Yay! (1)

TheHorse13 (908512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838638)

Another Government run list that is completely ineffective. Ever hear of the do not call list? Ask people how well that's working out. I guess understanding a problem before attempting to solve it has gone out of style.

Re:Yay! (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839708)

Ever hear of the do not call list? Ask people how well that's working out.
Pretty damned well, actually. Thanks for asking!

Re:Yay! (1)

phoebusQ (539940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841316)

Maybe you just give out your info a lot, but the DNC list has been about 99% effective for me...I've seen a huge reduction in sales calls.

Gosh, we'd be happy if... (3, Insightful)

jpellino (202698) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838652)

...she'd stop the laptops with state taxpayer financial data from being plucked from employee cars. (They claim they need all the data resident on every laptop whose operator is working on a given datatset.) Here in CT that's the bigger issue for her and the lege, To this more recent one, I can recall people being horrified years ago that we could find their phone listing in whitepages, their address on mapquest and an aerial photo on terraserver. Of course all of this was public information, now it's just easier for the "datarazzi" to get it in bulk. We've been on the DNC list and reg'd with DMA's pref service for years, and they still get thru. National opt-in with some teeth in it would be nice.

Re:Gosh, we'd be happy if... (1)

mckinnsb (984522) | more than 6 years ago | (#21842544)

Essentially, ever since that incident, she has been creating a "security directive" every few months or so. I'm not going to conjecture as to if this is a political game or not, because even if she is genuinely concerned about this it is still in some ways a *game*, but I will say that it just won't work. Just like the "Don't Call" list, the "Opt-out" program will be squashed by heaps and heaps of legacy data and future data-mining, especially at the State level. It is interesting that this was *never* an issue before the internet and national cross-referencing became publicly available, which brought it into the public mindset, primed for fear mongering. You can bet your bottom dollar that a while ago, there were people who were cross-referencing using...gosh...phone books, or 411. If someone really, really wants to find you-they will. You just better be prepared for *when* they find you, or reduce the amount of reasons *why* someone would want to find you. It's called "survival" and "manners, decency, and politics" respectively. In my mind, this is interstate commerce, and I feel that the Federal Government should handle it. ...But then again, thats more money we are spending. It might be worth spending, however, if people would *stop calling my house*. I would also like some teeth to be in the legislation. Furthermore, why isn't this kind of thing grouped underneath SPAM? SPAM, Calls of solicitation, and unauthorized reverse lookups all fall underneath the same category, in my mind- invasion of privacy. It would be nice if *for once*, the Government could create a branch of the government that had the sole job of protecting the privacy of citizens. We all can dream.

Interesting (2, Interesting)

Bootarn (970788) | more than 6 years ago | (#21838684)

In Sweden we have laws against publishing personal information of citizens. To publish even the equivalent of the social security number you must have the consent of the citizen in question. Unfortunately within license agreements the paragraph covering consent of publishing of personal information is buried deep within the text.

Self defeating..... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21838790)

We need to prevent the distribution of personal information on the Interweb so lets create a DATABASE of all the people who don't want their personal information accessible.

I am might be AGAINST this (1)

drhamad (868567) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839402)

Do not call is one thing. That's people actively annoying you. But that's different from people not being able to FIND you. So what I want to know (unless I'm blind and didn't see it in the article) is what exactly they intend to restrict. Phone numbers and names should available. They always were in phone books, and the internet is really no different. When I get a call I don't recognize, I want to look it up. It's annoyed me for years that cell phones usually aren't listed in whitepages.com reverse lookups.

Now, I can understand the restriction of some data - at some point, it probably does get too much. But I'm not sure where that point is, and I sure as heck know that it isn't "name+phone#=bad." I want people to be able to find my number online when they need to, and I want to find others. Saying "well it'd be your option" isn't accurate, because it'd be other peoples option as to whether or not I'd find theirs.

What about the data of 600 students in CT (2, Interesting)

tenaciousdRules (518041) | more than 6 years ago | (#21839452)

When I worked at the CT Department of Education, I lobbyed desperately for a centralized, secure data repository for student data. The analysts would constantly send student lists on disks via snail(or by a "secure" zip file), print paper lists of student data and take them offsite, and even put copies of this data on their personal computers to take home. I was passionate about keeping the demographic data of Connecticuts students secure and grew frustrated with the roadblocks.
We even got a Federal Grant with Governor Rell's help to contract out the project (we in no way had the resources to build it). As far as I can tell, the data are still in a SQL 2005 database, replicated multiple times, with access given to multiple undocumented users.
No business rules are in place other than the 1 overworked DBA there granting "read only" to anyone who requests it. There is a team there working very hard to make the data secure, but they are small and unsupported. Perhaps Madam Rell's efforts would be better directed at her own IT infrastructure...

playnamethatparty (1)

Aram Fingal (576822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21840696)

I'm not quite sure what the "playnamethatparty" tag is supposed to be getting at but I'll name Governor Rell's party. She's a Republican. I would say a very moderate one, to the point that she could easily be mistaken for a Democrat at times.

Test Data (1)

Armatich_Defiant (571793) | more than 6 years ago | (#21841920)

Add a unique test entry to the opt-out list, so that the databases could be checked for it's existence. This could be both 1) when someone uses a service and has opted out (to check the system is right) and 2) to check people aren't pulling from the opt-out list. There might be legal basis of a violation in some circumstances. just an idea

Do not mail me junk list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21842498)

I've been a big proponent of an individual's right to privacy and I commend Jodi Rell for doing something to protect my identity, but this isn't going to work and here's why... Technology. With gadgets like RFID tags, GPS, webcams mounted on every public ediface, two way video phone chat, 4 megapixel video straight to youtube, etc... companies (and the government) are going to know where you are, where you came from, what you're eating who you slept with last night and whether or not you are getting enough riboflaven in your wheatabix. Imagine if we allow everyone to plug into this global information network so that your wife can check up on you while you're at work and you can spy on your dog when you're on vacation. Not only will my age and hair color be available on the web, but you'd probably be able to tell my longitude and latitude. What are you going to do about that Jodi Rell? As I am not going to stand in the way of technology I am ready to put the chip in my brain and succumb. At least I'll have as much privacy as everyone else, which is none.

In breaking news (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21843350)

Connecticut Governor Seeks to Protect Personal Data Online

California governor seeks to keep skynet offline

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