Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Emergent Privacy Bits

  • TechDirt points to a Cnet story by Declan McCullagh, “Kiss your old SSN goodbye:”

    Rep. Joe Barton, another Texas Republican who happens to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said last week that he plans to “outlaw the use of Social Security numbers for any purposes other than government purposes.”

    “The time has come to tip the balance in favor of individual privacy and find another way to help businesses determine the identity of the people they want to give credit to,” Barton said at last week’s hearing.

    Technet also nails it with the closing comment: “Of course, thanks to the new Real ID Act, identity thieves will simply move over to stealing your driver’s license number instead of your SSN.”

  • Ed Foster has a letter from a reader pointing out:

    “In big red letters [Orbitz has] this ‘Your California Privacy Rights’ statement,” the reader noted. “California residents can write them to find out what information Orbitz has given out to third parties for direct marketing purposes. Terrific, but what about the rest of us? Just because I don’t happen to live in California doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the same rights.”

    I’ll note that if companies have the ability to answer that question, they have the ability to answer that question. If they don’t answer you, why are you giving them your business?

  • Joi Ito posts his experience on the Yokohama Committee for the Protection of Indentification Information:

    The meeting today was open to the public and there was one reporter and two citizen observers. The city officials reported on the status of the system. 836,654 or 23.78% of the people are opted out of the system and only 15,503 people have asked to be issued national ID cards. After the report, we were asked to discuss issues generally.