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View Diary: FISA Fight: More than just amnesty (79 comments)

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  •  Details on Privacy Standard (0+ / 0-)

    I'd be very interested on hearing more details on the Privacy Standards

    Most people think of the FISA controversy and wiretapping in the context of people actually listening in on conversation.

    I have found very few people consider the other dimensions of information involved in communication and the ways in which it can be used.

    Consider that without listening to any conversations just having data on who is in contact with whom contains a great deal of data that can be mined using social network analysis. This sort of data can be used interfer with people by targeting their connections and group affiliations.

    As an example, Say you are targeted by elements of the goverment because you support the use of medical marijuana. Information about who you communicate could be used to harass people who associate with you with IRS audits, excess traffic tickets, nothing major, just things that waste your time so you have less time to work on your issue.

    Data about the connections people may actually be subject to more abuse when it is not associated with what the connections are about. Senator McCarthy used this technique to great effect to imply that people who met with communists or suspected communists socially were sympathetic to their cause.

    Data about communications also contains location and time information. This sort of data can be used to develop information about peoples habits, where they are what time of day. Communications data is also linked to billing information.

    A privacy standard needs to address multiple dimensions of information inherent in communications as well as acceptable uses by the government and private industry.

    Most people are unaware of the amount of information collected about them and sold by the credit rating industry. Companies like Experian collect upwards of 800 data points of information per household. Data points are things like number of children, rent or buy, purchases, pets, etc. This information is sold to marketers who use it to target advertising.

    I was very surprised to learn that marketers can infer medical history based upon prescription purchases where the person used a credit or debit card. They do not need medical records, if you bought insulin then there is a good chance that someone in your household is diabetic and that information is for sale.

    The problem with stupid people isn't that their heads are empty, its that their heads are full of crap and there isn't room for anything else.

    by beerm on Wed Jan 30, 2008 at 03:43:24 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

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