Privacy


Privacy & Punditry18 Sep 2008 10:35 am

For anybody who might be interested, I have updated the list of all my monthly columns at Datamation / eSecurity Planet / Jupiter… (wherever they’re posting it this month). ;-)

http://www.privacyclue.com/index.php/columns/

Cheers!

Gay Rights & Law & Privacy28 May 2008 12:26 pm

If you’re a straight person who thinks that the gay marriage issue isn’t really relevant to you, you should take a moment to consider one thing: The same people that have a big problem with what gay or lesbian people do behind closed doors have just as big a problem with what lots of straight people do behind closed doors.

I’m not talking wild and kinky stuff, like anything other than the missionary position. No, long before the religious right got up in arms about queers, they were trying to stop straight people from having non-procreative sex. And they were so successful that they had succeeded in banning the use of birth control in several states.

In Connecticut, there was a law that said: “Any person who uses any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned not less than sixty days nor more than one year or be both fined and imprisoned.” Further, any doctor, pharmacist or other person who “assists, abets, counsels, causes, hires or commands another to commit” the offense could be prosecuted and punished in the same way.

In 1965, in a landmark case called Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there was inherent in the U.S. Constitution a core of rights around which glowed “penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”

Although a right of privacy is not explicit in the Constitution, a broader right of privacy exists in the penumbra of rights like freedom of association, quartering of soldiers, prohibition on search and seizure, etc. In the judgment of a 7-2 majority of the court, the right of privacy extended to making decisions about whether or not you could attempt to control whether having sex resulted in reproduction.

On June 7, 2008, the 43rd anniversary of the Griswold decision, the religious right is working to mobilize a nationwide protest called “The Pill Kills Babies.” And just in case you had any question about whether they are talking about the famous “Morning After” pill, the logo on their website — http://www.thepillkills.com — includes the familiar round pill case containing one month’s dosing of the regular old standard birth control pill.

According to their website, every prevented pregnancy is an abortion, meaning more than 11 million “chemical abortions” occur each year, with more than 324 million “chemical abortions” — nearly the entire US population! — since 1973.

So, in case you think the fight against gay marriage isn’t relevant to you, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the forces of religious morality have in store for us all.

Please remember that when you talk to your friends and family about what those crazy queers are doing out in California.

Privacy & Radio Show19 Jul 2007 07:58 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

I’ve got a new gig.

Facebook makes Privacy a feature

Will security firms give police spyware a pass?

Google trims its cookies, but not enough for EU regulators

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged and have them automatically downloaded to your computer.

Privacy & Sillycon Valley Biz13 Jun 2007 02:39 am

In an interesting article on Monday, privacy activist Lauren Weinstein issued a call for an “At-Large Public Ombudsman” at Google, to help them address their ongoing privacy and other matters.

Since then, some discussion has been going on via Dave Farber‘s “Interesting People” (“IP”) mailing list.

On a number of occasions I’ve had strong disagreements with Lauren, but I’m with him on this one. Unfortunately though, I just don’t see it happening. Why? Here is my response to the discussion thread on IP:

What Lauren has described is in many ways the essence of a Chief Privacy Officer… someone who minds the store on privacy matters in a proactive way, moving easily between technical, marketing, strategic, and legal matters, and making sure the hard questions are asked (and answered) long before products launch. At many large consumer-facing companies the CPO heads a team of privacy professionals who become a central resource for executives and front-line personnel alike, across the entire company, across all business units and at all levels of the organization.

When I created the first corporate CPO position and dedicated corporate privacy team back during the dotcom boom days, some people scoffed at whether a dedicated privacy person (much less a whole team) was really necessary. Yet one need only look at the evolution of the industry over the last decade to see that the need for a CPO role and/or team at many organizations has been proven beyond any shadow of doubt.

My work in evangelizing the importance of the CPO role led me to a fascinating meeting at Google back in about 2001. I was told that they were hiring a lawyer to work on privacy matters, but I was somewhat surprised that they defined that “privacy” role as mostly limited to responding to subpoenas and other similar procedural matters. When I inquired about how they were intending to address the bigger privacy issues that were already starting to nip at their heels, I was told that privacy was so deeply engrained in the corporate ethos that they really didn’t see the need for a role like a Chief Privacy Officer.

Apparently they still don’t.

I walked away from the interview shaking my head, knowing then that privacy was going to be an ongoing headache for Google. The last six years have proven me right: with almost every major product/service release, glaring privacy issues have been evident and the company always seems shocked and surprised that anybody raises the issue. Time after time, it’s clear that stuff is going out the door without any evidence of serious attention to, or mitigation of, those glaring problems.

I think Lauren’s proposal is sound. But when I made a similar pitch directly to senior level executives at Google back in 2001, and again in 2004, the concept was met with such resounding indifference that I was forced to conclude that privacy at Google was evolving from a blind spot into an elephant in the room.

Today, I fear that acceding to a proposal such as Lauren’s would require them to admit that they’d gotten this one fundamentally wrong. Unfortunately, the hubris that led them into this blind alley will probably prevent them from escaping it anytime soon.

Regards,
-Ray Everett-Church
http://www.privacyclue.com

News & Culture & Privacy & Radio Show17 Jan 2007 08:07 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

White House reverses course on warrantless spy program

Social Security Numbers leak online

MySpace readies parental notification features

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

News & Culture & Privacy08 Jan 2007 07:33 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Update: First, I chat with a couple of new AGLOCO members and get their feedback and answer some questions.

In the last hour, I’ll be back to talk about these items:

Bush claims power to open Americans mail without warrants

Medical Identity Theft can kill you!

Retail Receipts Often Contain Credit Card Data

Democrats investigate border screening rules

Study says most teens stay private online

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

News & Culture & Privacy26 Dec 2006 07:39 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Teen fights to keep bullet in head

Homeland Security fails to protect privacy (again)

Sony Coughs up $1.5 Million over DRM snafu

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

News & Culture & Privacy19 Dec 2006 07:43 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Phishing Fraud Gets More Expensive

DirecTV Gets $100,000 fine for Do-Not-Call violations

Retail Receipts Often Contain Credit Card Data

Greek Privacy Authority Fines Vodafone $100 Million

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

News & Culture & Privacy12 Dec 2006 07:32 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Senate Passes Bill to Criminalize Pretexting

HP Settles Civil Complaint for $14.5M

Microsoft, Tech Firms Seek Privacy Law

Remember, you can always download the audio of this hour, or any hour, from David Lawrence’s website for a micro-payment of 25¢. You can also subscribe to them and have them automatically downloaded to your iPod via iTunes at David Lawrence Unplugged.

News & Culture & Privacy31 Oct 2006 07:22 pm

Here are tonight’s news items that I’ll be talking about on when I join my friend, David Lawrence, for my weekly segment on his radio show, The David Lawrence Show:

Online ID Fraud Not as Bad as Thought?

Did you know that customs agents can seize your laptop and keep it forever?

“No-Swipe” Credit Cards Easier to Swipe?

How to Freeze Your Credit Report

Finally, in many states you have a legal right to place a “freeze” on your credit report to help prevent identity thieves from opening credit in your name. If you are interested in freezing your credit report, check out this page at PIRG for information about your rights to do so.

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