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Jim Harper replies to AccuCard service, privacy invasion, marketing

Previous Politech message:


From: "Jim Harper - Privacilla.org" <jim.harper@privacilla.org>
To: <declan@well.com>
Cc: <hmurray@suespammers.org>, <privacy@corex.com>
Subject: RE: AccuCard Service: More privacy invasion (and viral marketing?)
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 2003 12:19:37 -0400
Message-ID: <002001c33035$42cbd380$2ca8fea9@DJZ81G11>
MIME-Version: 1.0


As we've seen, there are security risks when data is centralized, but the
privacy problem here is not with AccuCard.  It is with Hal Murray's friend,
who entrusted information about him to AccuCard in violation of Hal's
personal privacy policy.

AccuCard's privacy statement is industry standard, and pretty good.  Key
"Corex Technologies will not sell, share, rent or license your personal
information. Corex does not give out personally identifiable information
collected from our users to others. The foregoing policy is subject to Corex
Technologies' obligation to release information pursuant to judicial or
other governmental subpoenas warrants or orders."

[It also has industry standard weaknesses: "Corex Technologies reserves the
right to amend this policy at any time.  Any changes or amendments to the
policy will be posted on our website." The policy should state clearly that
changes will only apply to data collected after the policy change, and it
should commit to substantial (by e-mail, perhaps) notice of policy changes.]

I can see both the security concerns and the benefits these services (there
are a number) hold out.  I have several friends who use these services, and
I have found that it neither bothers me, nor pleases me.  I do not regard it
as a privacy threat, much less invasion, for my friends and colleagues to
enter basic contact information about me into an online address book.

Whether these services catch on will depend in part on whether the privacy
preferences of people like me or people like Hal predominate.  There's no
right or wrong in a subjective area like this.  It will be interesting to
watch cultural norms in this corner of the online world develop.

Jim Harper

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