[Privacy] NYTimes: Take My Privacy, Please!

Ted Koppel correctly notes that there are many privacy threats greater than the PATRIOT Act. One problem, however, is that just because the PATRIOT act is a lesser concern, does not mean that it is not an important concern.


Part of its mission statement, as found on the OnStar Web site, is the creation of "safety, security and peace of mind for drivers and passengers with thoughtful wireless services that are always there, always ready."

As an aside, I was in the Barnes and Nobles last week, and couldn't help but skim through the Revenge of the Sith book. The part I was most interested, though, was how Palpatine actually convinced the Senate to go along with his scheme of creating the Empire, framing it in terms of peace, justice, and security. Supposedly, Lucas based this portion on Richard Nixon and on Hitler taking over the Reichstag.

There's something about these themes of "peace, justice, and security" that just targets our reptile brains, short-circuiting our thinking brains and makes it impossible to think through these issues rationally.

And here's a good quote from Tivo:

And how about all the information collected by popular devices like TiVo, the digital video recorder that enables you to watch and store an entire season's worth of favorite programs at your own convenience? ... No one is suggesting that TiVo tracks what each subscriber records and replays. But could they, if they needed to? That's unclear, although TiVo does have a privacy policy. "Your privacy," it says in part, "is very important to us. Due to factors beyond our control, however, we cannot fully ensure that your user information will not be disclosed to third parties."


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