Online Privacy

Survey: Opt-Out Is a Cop-Out

Here\'s A Sad Story from Wired that says Americans have plenty of complaints about a recently enacted law that requires customers to opt-out if they want to keep financial institutions from sharing their data.

Top items on the grievance list: opt-out notices hidden in thick junk mailings, confusing legal language and the potential for invasive sales tactics.
Your personal information is up for sale to the higest bidder.

Want privacy? Take action Has An Editorial by Dan Gillmore that says the businesses building the next generation of digital services are indifferent, if not hostile, to everything but their immediate bottom lines. I\'d say you can easily add some businesses providing services like databases, opacs and ejournals to this list. He also says legislative agendas frequently run counter to public wishes that conflict with business demands.Our rights, and money, are being legislated away.

Public Internet computers vulnerable to hackers

Cabot writes \"According to this CBC Story checking your e-mail at an Internet café or public place could mean the loss of your privacy. Some experts warn your confidential messages could be easily accessed.\"

It\'s always important to think about who else might have access to that computer you are using, not leave files behind, make sure you have a secure connection and so on.

Finding Pay Dirt in Scannable Driver\'s Licenses

Not 100% library related, but, The NYTimes has a Scary Story on the information people can get off of your drivers license. A bar owner found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing.

A good story for to answer the ol\' question \"Why do we worry about patron privacy?\"

\"You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone\'s whole life as we know it pops up in front of you,\" said Paul Barclay, the bar\'s owner. \"It\'s almost voyeuristic.\"

Netscape Navigator snoops

Susanna writes \"Here\'s a story from Newsbytes, via the Washington Post, regarding Netscape Navigator\'s new browser version, and how it\'s snooping on searches done by its users at various search engines. \"

NY Times Source Database Hacked

From MSNBC...
\"A computer security researcher accessed internal New York Times computer networks this week through the Internet and managed to view hundreds of sensitive Times files. Among them: a database of 3,000 Times op-ed page contributors. The file contained Social Security numbers and other personal information belonging to luminaries like James Carville, James Baker, Larry Lessig, and Robert Redford. The researcher also got phone numbers for William F. Buckley Jr., Rush Limbaugh, Warren Beatty and Jimmy Carter. In a statement, the New York Times said it is investigating the problem.\" More

California sells birth data to Web site

The birth records of more than 24 million Californians have been sold by the state and posted on the Internet, offering easy access to critical information needed to create fake identities.
Full Story is at

Google, Others Dig Deep -- Maybe Too Deep

From CNET:

Search-engine spiders crawling the Web are increasingly stumbling upon passwords, credit card numbers, classified documents and even computer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

The problem is not new, security analysts say: Ever since search robots began indexing the Web years ago, Web site administrators have found pages not meant for public consumption exposed in search results.

But a new tool built into the Google search engine to find a variety of file types in addition to traditional Web documents is highlighting and in some cases exacerbating the problem. With Google\'s new file-type search tool, a wide array of files formerly overlooked by basic search engine queries are now just a few clicks from the average surfer--or the novice hacker . . .

More with thanks to Metafilter. Here\'s the MeFi thread.

FBI investigates e-mail

Interesting Story.

Here\'s what we know, The FBI is investigating suspicious e-mails sent from the Weldon Public Library in NC. Weldon Police Chief Tim Byers said the FBI informed him the transmissions seemed \"a little bit out of the ordinary\".

They don\'t know whether e-mails were intercepted or whether FBI agents received a tip.
The word intercepted really caught my eye. No one in the story knows what they found or how they found it.

Oppose Expanded Government Secrecy!

Amy Kearns writes \"I got this alert from the ACLU!
You can read more and send a FREE FAX from the action alert Here

Last year, with little debate and no public hearings, Congress adopted an intelligence authorization bill that contained a provision to criminalize all leaks of classified information. A firestorm of criticism from civil libertarians, major news organizations, academics and LIBRARIANS resulted and President Bill Clinton vetoed the bill. Unfortunately, at the request of Senator Richard Shelby (R- AL), this year\'s intelligence authorization bill may include the identical provision.


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