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Privacy Heat Generates Little Light

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Privacy and security are topics I’ve been following closely for
over two years online and off. I know I’ve seen some rather
vehement and heated opinions voiced on Privacy and I’ve watched
otherwise very level-headed discussions turn rather boistrous
when privacy issues come up in conversations of internet
industry marketing or security veterans.

An innocent comment on spam can cause unimaginable eruptions of
heated emotions at a internet professional gathering. Vast hotel
ballrooms overflow at web conferences to hear panel discussions
on IT infrastructure security issues since September 11, 2001.
Databases of customer information have been fought over in dot
com bankruptcies while accidental exposures of private
information is unwittingly made public by simple human error
handling email soft- ware. Privacy issues made DoubleClick
famous overnight.

I watched two episodes of the popular network television show
“Law and Order” just this month that dealt with innocent death
due to a hacker killing diabetics in one show and a stalker
accessing private information purchased from datamining
profiteers to kill an innocent in another show. These programs
are supposedly based on real-life cases. Privacy issues have
made it to Prime-Time on 60 Minutes repeatedly, from identity
theft to facial recognition software to airport security matters.

What permission is presumed given by subscribers when they join
a discussion list as to Privacy concerns? Do you include their
email address on subscriber posts? Do you have permission to
contact them for stand-alone ads from list advertisers? Does
your web site privacy policy apply to your list subscribers and
if not, can you then archive the list online? What if you remove
those email addresses before archiving?

Privacy has been a growing topic of concern among the US public
since 11 September. Harris found that 91% of US consumers say
they would be more likely to do business with a company that
verified its privacy practices with a third party.



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  • Posted On April 19, 2006
  • Published articles 283513

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