Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by ronjor, Feb 15, 2015.
I am sorry but the article is missing one major point and is confusing security with privacy. They are also trying to blame the victim here with a weak argument disguised as good journalism.
The core of the problem is that companies are collecting information they do not need to have and are securing it poorly. They also treat anybody who doesnt want to provide this information as either a criminal or crazy person.
A 2 years ago I received a servey from a major auto insurance company they weren't asking anything you might consider related to owning a car. I considered the questions way too private, I didn't do their survey and I got followup letters wanting to know why I wouldn't give them the simple information they asked for. I now have another auto insurance company.
I had Canadian Tire want to photocopy my drivers license to return an item. Felt treated like a criminal when refused.
Funny one today was that I tried to buy a pair of shoes but the first thing they wanted was my telephone number. They thought I was crazy when I refused, had to get manager to override the system because "some guy doesnt want to provide his number".
IMO, this is the real reason behind all these breaches. And it happens because all companies/governments/etc. try to convince people give up as many personal information as possible in order to do some data mining. And because most of the time they are not equipped to secure all those databases (either they don't have the technology or the expertise to do it), the breaches happen.
And given the fact that everybody seems to want to reduce their costs with security, but at the same time they want more and more data, this trend is not going to stop soon.
There's another huge asymmetry that's ignored here: the poor old consumer/public gets - by and large - to bear the real costs of breaches, with no meaningful compensation. Nor do fines really amount to much in the corporate world - none of the execs gets to go to jail, and regarding reputation, I think that consumers rightly think that all corporations and government departments are terrible and careless with the data and awful about privacy. But then, they aren't able to complain too much about "free".
My feeling is that both security and privacy will only get meaningfully improved when we increase the penalties for breaches, including jail time for negligence. A mitigation would be that the organisation had fully funded the maintenance and review of any open source software they used.
But, the political climate, possibly seeded by the powerful with articles like these, means that the opposite will be happening. They'll try to blame the careless and the pirates.
There is also an additional risk of, no matter how invasive of your privacy, that there may be plenty errors made in their files on you, so that inncorrect information may be being spread about you,without your knowing or consent. I recently had two such experiences:
1) I attempted to make a with a check purchase at a brick and mortar store of a large nation-wide chain store. My check was declined because of TELECHECK. (TELECHECK is a nationwide Check-Risk Assessment Service) I was stunned and outraged. I had never bounced a check in my life and ultimately paid with the bank debit card linked to that account, which is the first time I have done that-fear of POS customer ID theft. This put me in an nightmare predicament because I a need to move from my current home I rent this month.
TELECHECK had paid a huge fine last year to settle a case filed by The Federal Trade Commission that had alleged, among other things, that it used an inaccurate "risk assessment" algorithm.
It is nearly impossible to contact a person with any authority in this type of company. The only contact number/address was to the media relations Dept of Data General, the largest credit card payment processing servicve in the USA, that also is the owner of TELECHECK I apparently sent them an effective email, because to my shock I received the next morning a call from the Office of the President of TELECHEK. It was from one of the President's Assistants, She investigated while I was on the phone. She discovered that the reason for the decline was that the store's cashier had reversed two numbers of my driver's license. Usually such an issue will be escalated by TELECHECK and your bank wiil be called to verify your Account and that you have sufficiant fubds to cover the check, but this occurred at 5:00PM on a Sunday.
2) Experian Credit Score Reporting Co. Because i would soon be moving I wanted to get my current "Credit Score." Experian offers an online copy of current scores from the three major agencies that give their Credit Scores to consumers. (BS in any event since merchant's and real estate industry use the Fitch Score, which as a consumer it is impossible to get) Experian refused to provide the reports because it was "Not Able to Verify [my] Identity." WTF? As with TELECHECK there is no contact info available othjer than the media relations email addresses. Experian had been hauled before a Senate Oversight Commitee in late 2012, to answer to allegations of incorrect reporting and data.They never supplied the Committee with the documents that had been subpoened.
I used this information in an angry email to Experian via it's Public Relations/Media Dept. Again, the next morning I received a telephone call from Experian. I was informed that the problem had been that another person's Social Security Number had been recorded by Experian as being mine!!! WTF?? I was told that the matter had been corrected in Experian's files. I never went through the effort to see if the other agencies had made a similar error.
I looked up Experian, Data General and Telecheck on dialahuman.com, and much to my surprise Experian was not listed nor the other two companies you mentioned, but Trans Union and Equifax were listed. You might follow up with both of those Credit Reporting Agencies to verify that your Identity is the same as was corrected on Experian, and/or whether or not you were mis-identified as at Experian.
Couldnt agree more with your sentiments.
I really hope that we do change as a society. To me the article reflects attitudes towards women in the 1950s and 1960s, where if a woman was sexually assaulted it was her fault for encouraging it. Yes what corporations are doing is less impactful to an individual victim but the problem is that they are doing it to billions of people rather than just one. They are using a warped idea of consent where it is implied by a set of terms and conditions that nobody has the time to read and many people in society do not have the ability to provide informed consent. We have been this path in history before, medical trials were conducted on low-IQ individuals and children in orphanages.
Apologies for the rant, getting more and more ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ at the way corporations can get away with this.
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