15 January 2006

All your information--for a small fee

Cyberkitten points to a story that I also find deeply disturbing. It appears that people at phone companies and elsewhere are selling our call information and anything else they know about us for a very affordable fee. Along a similar note, I've heard that even public institutions such as the U.S. Postal Service often sell addresses and other information. The trend is even more disturbing in light of the fact that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.S. I think there should be strict laws in place stating that any specific information that a company sells about an individual should require prior signed consent that is written on a separate form (not in small letters on the 18th page of some agreement). I encourage all of you to write your representatives and get them working on this.

It amazes me that we now have a government that is so extremely secret about every detail of its work yet believes that both the government or its corporate sponsors should have the ability to delve into (or sell!) every detail of our lives. This is ass-backwards. It's the government that should be scrutinized while our own information should be nearly inaccessible.

4 comments:

CyberKitten said...

Disturbing indeed... and unfortunately not an isolated incident. I'm not exactly sure what it says in the US Constitution... but don't you have Privacy Legislation? If you do.. I think it needs looking at - like now.

But as I commented myself... at least it does mean you can spy on your government - which is very democratic of you.

Oh, and thanks for the cite. Always appreciated.

Karlo said...

There's something very sleazy about a phone company selling our information without telling us about it. I can't believe this sort of thing goes on.

Colin said...

Well... how do you think junk mail companies get your address? They don't go through the phone book writing down everybody's name; rather, they buy all your information from other people. There are whole industries based on selling your e-mail/street address and phone number.
And no, we don't have any formal federal privacy protection in this country.

Karlo said...

If it were only that easy to figure out what our government's doing...