BACKGROUND ON THE TOPIC AREA 1
ONLINE PRIVACY VOCABULARY
Business Week, March 20, 2000 SECTION: COVER STORY; ONLINE PRIVACY; Number 3673; Pg. 82 TITLE: It's Time for Rules in Wonderland // acs-VT2001
The Language of Online Privacy
COOKIES These tiny software programs keep a log of where people click, allowing sites to track customers' habits. Cookies are placed on consumers' computers when they first visit sites or use things like online calendars, personalized news services, or shopping carts.
ONLINE PROFILING By using cookies, sometimes combined with personal information, sites build profiles about what customers do or don't buy, what they look at, how much time they spend in different areas, and what ads they click on.
REFERERS Information that your Web browser passes along when you move from one site to another or use a search engine or even just send an e-mail. Referers can be collected and used to target advertising.
ADVERTISING NETWORKS The Net equivalent of ad agencies, the most famous being DoubleClick, Engage, and 24/7. They amass millions of profiles of Web surfers based on their online habits. Ads are then aimed at those most likely to buy what is being pitched.
REGISTRATIONS Anywhere you fill out personal information in order to download software, sign up for a free service, or buy something online. The data can be sold or shared with other Web sites or advertisers.
IP ADDRESS A number automatically assigned to your computer whenever you connect to the Net. The numbers are used by network computers to identify your PC so that data can be sent to you. But addresses can be used in profiling and ad targeting.
PRIVACY POLICIES Notices posted on a Web site that disclose how a company collects, uses, and shares data with partners or advertisers. These sometimes include opt-in and opt-out buttons.
OPT-IN AND OPT-OUT Privacy choices that some Web sites offer to their visitors. In opt-out situations, the site is free to gather and sell information on you unless you specifically tell it not to by clicking on a button. With opt-in, gathering or selling your data is forbidden unless you click to give permission.
PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION Your name, address, or credit card number and other details linked to your real-world identity.
THIRD-PARTY DATABASES Companies like Acxiom and Experian stockpile information such as name, address, phone number, and income on most U.S. households. Increasingly, these companies are working with Web sites and software makers.
PRIVACY WEBSITES OF INTEREST
William D. Chalmers, The San Francisco Chronicle, APRIL 30, 2000, SECTION: SUNDAY CHRONICLE; Pg. 1/Z1 TITLE: There's No Business Like Your Business // acs-EE2001
PRIVACY WEBSITES OF INTEREST
-- www.epic.org -- The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a Washington, D.C., public interest research center focusing on emerging civil liberties issues.
-- www.privacy. org/ipc -- The Internet Privacy Coalition promotes privacy and security on the Internet through public availability of encryption and the relaxation of export controls on cryptography.
-- www.aclu.org -- The American Civil Liberties Union site provides data on cyber liberties.
-- www.acm.org/usacm/ -- The Association for Computing Machinery U.S. Public Policy Committee focuses on all matters of U.S. public policy related to information technology.
-- www.cato.org/ index.html -- The Cato Institute is a Washington, D.C., public policy foundation.
-- www.eff.org -- San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation is dedicated to protecting rights and promoting freedom on the electronic frontier.
-- www.privacyrights.org -- The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is a consumer information and advocacy program devoted to the protection of personal privacy.
YOU CAN FIND OUT WHAT YOUR BROWSER TELLS PEOPLE ABOUT YOU
The Plain Dealer, October 25, 1999 SECTION: PERSONAL TECH; Pg. 6E TITLE: PRIVACY IN PERIL; THE SAME WEB THAT GIVES YOU ACCESS TO THE WORLD GIVES THE WORLD ACCESS TO YOU // acs-EE2001
To see what others can learn about you without any extra effort on their part, click on the word "You" at
PRINCIPLES FOR SUCCESSFUL PRIVACY REGULATION
Business Week, March 20, 2000; Pg. 156 TITLE: GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT NET PRIVACY // acs-VT2001
BUSINESS WEEK believes that a single minimum federal standard of online privacy would increase consumer trust and bolster the long-term health of e-commerce. Here are four principles for privacy legislation:
RISKS, REMEDIES, AND TRADE-OFS TO CONSIDER IN PRIVACY DECISION MAKING
Edward C. Baig, Business Week, April 5, 1999; Pg. 84 TITLE: PRIVACY // acs-VT2001
Here are some of the risks, remedies, and trade-offs:
RISK You think your financial records are private. Then your bank merges with a securities firm and its online arm blitzes you with dubious investment offers.
REMEDY A bill co-sponsored by Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) would prohibit companies from sharing your personal data with a third party or affiliate unless you give approval.
TRADE-OFF You should always have the right to say no to data sharing, but some of the sales pitches are things you might want to see.
THE POLITICIAN ''Privacy laws cover video rentals and cable-TV selections, yet we don't protect citizens' basic financial information from being shared,'' says Senator Paul Sarbanes.
The Price of Privacy: Your Health
RISK Private information collected by your doctors and nurses can be passed on to insurers, employers, medical researchers, courts, and private eyes. Police and hackers might decide to take a peek, too.
REMEDY Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) is pushing a bill forcing doctors to notify you each time your data is requested and to justify disclosure.
TRADE-OFF In emergencies, the ability to zip your records over the Net may save your life. Medical science also gains by drawing on vast pools of patient data.
THE DOCTOR ''If people can't trust their doctors to keep secrets,'' says psychiatrist Richard Epstein, ''patients won't talk about sexual abuse or mental illness. The failure to disclose information could harm other people.''
The Price of Privacy: Your Family
RISK Are your children on the Net? Do you know who they chat with and what information they surrender when they answer surveys or make purchases? And what about school? Once they're in a database, report cards from kindergarten can follow your kids for life.
REMEDY Stiff laws are being considered that would curb requests for personal data from children.
TRADE-OFF Your child can survey the entire world on the Net. Be careful you don't erect walls just when you should be tearing them down.
THE MOTHER Under pressure to cut costs, schools are building new databases, says Gayle Cloud. ''They snoop your credit and medical records -- and now your kids. Where is it going to stop?''
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WALLET STORY
Sheila R. Cherry; Insight on the News, February 07, 2000, Pg. 24 TITLE: Getting to Know All About You // acs-EE2001
But so common is the commercialization of the SSN that when wallet manufacturers used mock Social Security cards imprinted with a "dummy" sample number to demonstrate the card-holder compartment inside, the marketing gimmick caused an unexpected problem. "Thousands of people used it as their Social Security number," Liptz recounts. Some purchasers believed the number was issued with the wallet and used it when employers requested their SSN.