Thursday, May 19, 2005

Privacy? What privacy?

Here are two really creepy stories about how privacy is a) already a thing of the past, and b) in worse shape, if big movie studios have their way.

First, here is a Times article (link dies in a week; see to view anonymously) about how Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was able to pick up reams of personal data on--um--himself. To clarify:
Senator Ted Stevens wanted to know just how much the Internet had turned private lives into open books. So the senator, a Republican from Alaska and the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, instructed his staff to steal his identity.

"I regret to say they were successful," the senator reported at a hearing he held last week on data theft.

His staff, Mr. Stevens reported, had come back not just with digital breadcrumbs on the senator, but also with insights on his daughter's rental property and some of the comings and goings of his son, a student in California. "For $65 they were told they could get my Social Security number," he said.

Second, here's a story from Wired about how researchers at UCLA are pandering to the big movie studios and developing a DVD copy control scheme that would require biometric identification to watch movies. I'm sure customers will just line up to pay full price for a DVD that they can't loan to their friends--and the shiny new fingerprint-taking players to watch them.

If it flies, by the way, it will make the Tattered Cover 1st Amendment case seem quaint.


At 10:45 PM, Blogger Nelson said...

This link to the NY Times story should work indefinitely.

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At 8:39 PM, Blogger THFGPXUI said...



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