Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Privacy Competition in Politics

Two leading governor candidates are trying to outdo each other in protecting Minnesotans’ privacy…The candidates’ dueling news conferences produced more politics than policy, with each charging the other with not doing enough to protect citizens’ privacy.

From “Governor is seeking privacy law changes.” I don’t like some of the proposals. It seems to me that facial recognition searches of databases don’t enhance privacy, but authentication when trying to get a license, and hassle when the computer is wrong. I point out the article because I suspect that competing on privacy or data protection policy may be the start of a trend.

There’s also the interesting question of what to call higher quality standards for issuance of ID cards or benefits. There is an interaction with privacy in the sense of reducing fraud-by-impersonation, and a drive to extract more and more data in order to approach the possibility of perhaps achieving the goals of such a system, with the associated data protection and exceptions issue.