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FTC imposes $10M fine against ChoicePoint for data breach

FTC imposes $10M fine against ChoicePoint for data breach The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has fined ChoicePoint $10 million for a data breach that allowed identity thieves posing as legitimate businesses to steal social security numbers, credit reports, and other data from nearly 140,000 people. This is the largest fine ever levied by the FTC. ChoicePoint also has to set up a 'trust fund' for people victimized by identity thieves. From the article: 'As part of its agreement with the FTC, ChoicePoint will also have to submit to comprehensive security audits every two years for the next 20 years.'" BusinessWeek has additional info. Perhaps there might be hope for individual privacy after all. Let's all keep our fingers crossed.
posted by mk1gti on Jan 26, 2006 - 22 comments

Interactive Pre-Recorded Voices

A Marketing and Promotional Urinal Screen - I mean - WTF? Is there nowhere I can go and not be bombarded by advertising...now when I go for a 'slash' I can be detected 'visiting' the urinal, and a pre-recorded voice can 'interact' with me while I read the graphics. Honestly, I never, ever, ever wanted to interact whilst standing at a urinal...please don't make me start interacting in there!
posted by mattr on Nov 11, 2004 - 21 comments

Ubiquitous morality

All watched over by machines of loving grace is Adam Greenfield's take on the consequences for designers of ubicomp. Setting moral guidelines seems critical in these early days of technological encroachment-- but how long can decency hold out against the promise of profit? I was forwarded a recent email from the CEO a major bookseller that made it clear that it's possible for them to track everything I do in their stores and online, and thank goodness they choose not to take advantage. But how long will that last? And with homeland security crumbling our civil liberties, article's like Adam's that remind us about our responsibility are even more important than ever.
posted by christina on Oct 30, 2004 - 7 comments

Why does Scalia hate America?

Why does Scalia hate America? Justice "Fat Tony" Scalia orders reporters to erase tapes of one of his speeches. Aren't public servents supposed to be public?
posted by skallas on Apr 8, 2004 - 28 comments

milkshake

Restaurant Industry Warns Members to Beware Strip-Search Hoax. "If anyone requests a manager or other employee to order someone to disrobe, ignore their request because it is a privacy invasion." Anyone want to supersize their sexual assault?
posted by squirrel on Apr 7, 2004 - 10 comments

This is not the 555 area code

Now it's officially a trend: Attacking the privacy of those who invade privacy (bottom of page) by publicizing their information. What's the verb for this going to be? I think "Barrying" should be a contender.
posted by soyjoy on Oct 14, 2003 - 19 comments

No more Scarlet Letter!

Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with? Remember when we discussed this before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link. Thank god for the ACLU.
posted by aacheson on Apr 25, 2003 - 46 comments

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts

Women who put babies up for adoption required to publish sexual pasts Web sites can't collect info on minors, but Florida wants all women, including minors, to publish their sexual history in local newspapers before they're allowed to give their child up for adoption. Abortions are difficult to get in Florida, almost impossible for some minors because of parental notification and permission requirements, yet wouldn't this law push more women towards abortion rather than towards adoption?
posted by dejah420 on Aug 7, 2002 - 83 comments

Pregnancy test results are not considered part of confidential medical records.

Pregnancy test results are not considered part of confidential medical records. Why, you say? Because the cops wanted to find out who dumped an abandoned baby, and subpoenaed Planned Parenthood's records to see who had gotten positive pregnancy test results recently. The rationale for the judge's ruling? "...the records aren't medical records because the staff who provide pregnancy tests aren't required to be doctors or nurses."
posted by beth on Jul 18, 2002 - 14 comments

Investigators Want Records From Planned Parenthood

Investigators Want Records From Planned Parenthood Where do we draw the line between patient privacy and investigating crimes? A county judge has ruled that the records be turned over to the sheriff. Planned Parenthood is appealing.
posted by justlisa on Jul 2, 2002 - 26 comments

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I.

Government Will Ease Limits on Domestic Spying by F.B.I. (NY Times link) As part of a sweeping effort to transform the F.B.I. into a domestic terrorism prevention agency, Attorney General John Ashcroft has decided to relax restrictions on the bureau's ability to conduct domestic spying in counterterrorism operations, senior government officials said today. Here's the Wash. Post's take on the story.
posted by Ty Webb on May 30, 2002 - 21 comments

Speaking of Pat Robertson

Speaking of Pat Robertson, if the 700 club thinks that this isn't the mark of the beast, sign me up for the pre-implant kool aid anesthetic. As long as I don't have to carry the smoking man's alien baby, I'll be a good citizen.
posted by machaus on Feb 26, 2002 - 16 comments

Windows Media Player records your viewing and listening habits.

Windows Media Player records your viewing and listening habits. But, it's ok cause Microsoft changed their privacy policy to reflect this. Does anyone get surprised by this sort of thing any more?
posted by jeremias on Feb 21, 2002 - 17 comments

As if you weren't depressed enough, now the world knows you're taking Prozac
posted by fooljay on Jul 5, 2001 - 6 comments

No Hiding Place

No Hiding Place "According to most experts in the field, a police state with powers of control and surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of Hitler or Stalin could now be established in Britain within 24 hours" Here's how...
posted by hmgovt on Apr 20, 2001 - 4 comments

The ACLU wants to protect your privacy

The ACLU wants to protect your privacy from government electronic surveillance programs like Echelon and Carnivore. Their full page ad in today's NYT claims 4th amendment rights are being violated by the US government, which is overstepping their bounds, and nearly free of up-to-date laws. Is it to late or can anything be done to protect civilian electronic communication?
posted by mathowie on Apr 15, 2001 - 7 comments

Confidentiality.

Confidentiality. A lot of people would probably expect such a conversation to be confidential, although that is neither promised by the web site nor apparently required of their operators.

The TV news here in Melbourne covered the story this morning and skirted the subject of confidentiality, but Wired has an interesting piece. The New Zealand Herald has an edited transcript in the first of it's articles.

There's an uproar if a doctor or a priest breaks a confidence, even if it leads to a murder being solved. Why so little fuss here?
posted by southisup on Mar 29, 2001 - 6 comments


Well, congratulations; you won your TiVo. So, now, are you wondering what they're doing to you with it?
posted by baylink on Mar 26, 2001 - 44 comments

JunkBusters voices concerns of Amazon's new honor pay system...

JunkBusters voices concerns of Amazon's new honor pay system... an interesting link for all of us here, as we've noticed a proliferation of blogs/personal sites (including MeFi) using the system. Do you want Amazon to know you're a MetaFillistine? Comments?
posted by silusGROK on Mar 21, 2001 - 3 comments

Network Solutions sells out.

Network Solutions sells out. The once-monopoly has decided to pool all their domain name registration information and sell it to the spammers of the world. From their marketing website, "Taking advantage of our position as a market leader, we have organized our pool of over 15 million registered domain names into a customer database of over 5 million unique customers. Our data service offers access to the key decision-makers behind millions of leading Web businesses."

True, there is a privacy policy, and you can try and protect yourself following their instructions, but it would seem that once the cat's out of the bag... And, what's to keep someone from purchasing the database of email addresses, fax numbers, telephone numbers, and addresses and selling them off to someone else?
posted by warhol on Feb 15, 2001 - 35 comments

Privacy makes strides online.

Privacy makes strides online. I'm actually pretty amazed by the ruling - while I think this is a great thing, could it be used for evil?
posted by rich on Jan 9, 2001 - 3 comments

Judiciary Seeks Public Comment on Internet Access to Court Documents

Judiciary Seeks Public Comment on Internet Access to Court Documents "As federal courts make the transition from paper to electronic case files, the Judicial Conference of the United States is studying the privacy and security implications of vastly wider public access to court documents via the Internet. Public comment is sought."

Further down they tell you that it'll cost 7 cents a page, even online. From the same folks who waited years to put up Supreme Court dockets and opinions on the official site.
posted by thescoop on Nov 15, 2000 - 6 comments


Invasion of privacy may be offset by cheaper insurance

Invasion of privacy may be offset by cheaper insurance If this doesn't scare the hell out of you you don't drive a car.

Sure it is an excellent idea for fleet management and for personal security.

But do we really want insurance companies to know everything about our driving habits and whereabouts? Think about it. They can dictate your rate based on your speed, and ultimately can base your claim on data collected while you were driving. Big insurance is one of the most financial powerful forces out there, next to big tobacco. They are already invasive, requiring blood samples and medicals for life policies. Imagine if they could collect the intimate details of our daily lives.
posted by daddyray on Sep 24, 2000 - 12 comments

Another innovation from Digital Convergence:

Another innovation from Digital Convergence:
In addition to having a pretty much useless product, CueCat's product-release-to-privacy-violation rate is spectacular! To quote their email:

Dear :CueCat member,
We've been alerted to a security breach in our system that may have exposed certain members' names and email addresses. As one of the members who may be susceptible, we want to explain to you how you may be affected and what we are doing to rectify the situation. (more...)
posted by anildash on Sep 17, 2000 - 1 comment

Amazon's new privacy policy

Amazon's new privacy policy makes any information you give them a saleable asset. I could have sworn that I saw a link to Amazon's new policy here on MeFi, but now I can't find it. Anyway, when I saw the link my first question was how the old and new policies differed. Then a friend pointed me at this CNNfn article. Whaddy think? Gives me the creeps...
posted by silusGROK on Sep 4, 2000 - 4 comments

"Keeping track of the kids is easy

"Keeping track of the kids is easy in this smart kidswear concept which incorporates GPS-driven locators and miniature camera's allowing parents to ensure they're safe, while a computer game console worn on the sleeve keeps the kids happy." As a parent, I would pay any price to avoid actually watching or playing with my child. Where do I order?
posted by rcade on Aug 16, 2000 - 20 comments

Wish I'd Said That Dept.

Wish I'd Said That Dept.
If the privacy-invaders are going to collect so much information on me, why can't they seem to USE IT?
posted by wendell on Jul 21, 2000 - 4 comments

Fresh net-privacy hell.

Fresh net-privacy hell.
posted by aflakete on Jul 11, 2000 - 12 comments

Identity swapping makes life relative

Identity swapping makes life relative

Do any of you do the Safeway Card Shuffle? I think I probably would, but then again the level of tracking where I live is currently negligible, so it isn't yet an issue. How about where you live?

And how does this tie in to online privacy, like advertising cookies and programs like RealPlayer and GoZilla that track and report where you've been and what you've been doing?
posted by lia on Jun 8, 2000 - 8 comments

This information

This information was supposed to be private, wasn't it?
posted by thirteen on May 29, 2000 - 12 comments

Never, NEVER, NEVER tell someone

Never, NEVER, NEVER tell someone "Sure, you can use my computer while I'm on vacation!"
posted by Steven Den Beste on May 3, 2000 - 22 comments

A new child privacy law is in effect

A new child privacy law is in effect, what do you think?
posted by tiaka on Apr 21, 2000 - 1 comment

Privacy? What's that? We all know that most of the new 'free' Internet Access Providers pay the bills by selling ads that you're forced to read, and some of them are selling information about *you* to other people. Well, along comes Predictive Networks, who are going to sell information about your surfing even if you're paying the freight. Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.
[ from Lauren Weinstein's Privacy Digest ]
posted by baylink on Apr 21, 2000 - 2 comments

I'll believe this

I'll believe this when DoubleClick changes their darn policy. Sure, they've also recently said they'll postpone their new identifying database. How about to "never"?
posted by mrmorgan on Mar 8, 2000 - 0 comments

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the web.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the web. Now it turns out that the damned ad companies can inadvertantly learn a LOT about you that you didn't realize you were telling them.

You know, I'm really glad I use AtGuard and have closed off DoubleClick and FocaLink and all those other guys in my firewall by blocking their IPs. (It's now part of the Norton Internet Security 2000 package, and I recommend it highly.)

From me, they learn nothing because they never even see the requests.
posted by Steven Den Beste on Mar 2, 2000 - 17 comments


Yahoo! is being sued. The plaintiffs claim that Yahoo!'s use of cookies violates Texas anti-stalking laws.
posted by tdecius on Feb 14, 2000 - 3 comments

So a few days ago, I went off on some resume sites going out and pilfering my resume off my personal site. Well, I opted out of passportaccess.com, and here is their response. My favorite part: "Once you post your resume or any sort of material on the internet it becomes public information and therefore, can be spread from site to site very quickly." Uh, excuse me? Since when did "public information" equal "copyright-free and we can do anything we want with it?"
posted by mathowie on Feb 10, 2000 - 5 comments

If you use AltaVista's yellowpage listings, you may be letting Alexa know exactly where you live, where you're planning on flying, and who you talk to on the phone. This is so far beyond a simple breach of privacy. This is insane.
posted by mathowie on Feb 9, 2000 - 1 comment

Mobiltrak

Mobiltrak is a company that can monitor what radio stations people are listening to in their cars. Privacy advocates say they're against this because the monitoring takes place without anyone's consent or knowledge, but I think they just don't want people knowing they really love Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys.
posted by mathowie on Jan 31, 2000 - 0 comments

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