CORPORATIONS COLLECT HUGE AMOUNTS OF INFORMATION ABOUT CONSUMERS
JOE MERCHANT IS THE NEW BIG BROTHER
Laura Berman, The Detroit News, December 21, 1999, SECTION: Metro; Pg. D1 TITLE: Privacy a major casualty in this new high-tech dot.com world // acs-EE2001
As we hand off privacy for the convenience of letting others gauge our tastes and preferences, we're probably losing more than we know. Big Brother isn't watching; Joe Merchant is.
Privacy lawyer Marc Rotenberg sees technology moving faster than privacy-protection laws. "As technology moves forward, privacy gets stepped over. There's a need to update these laws," says Rotenberg, executive editor of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington, D.C.
PROFIT MOTIVE GUARANTEES BUSINESSES WILL COLLECT AS MUCH INFORMATION AS THEY CAN
Heather Green, Business Week, February 14, 2000; Pg. 38 TITLE: PRIVACY: OUTRAGE ON THE WEB // acs-EE2001
Internet companies have every incentive to gather as much customer data as they can -- and few reasons to stop. Indeed, integral to the business plans of many Web companies is the notion that they can reach clearly identified individuals rather than an ''audience.'' Advertising agencies say they are willing to pay a premium of 10% to 20% for such targeted advertising. ''The Internet is the first medium that offers advertisers the ability to speak to your customers,'' says Susan Nathan, senior vice-president at ad agency McCann-Erickson Worldwide Inc., whose clients include Microsoft Corp. and HotJobs.com Ltd. ''The more you know, the easier and more fruitful it is to do that.''
BIG BROTHER IS HERE -- AS A COMPUTER DATABASE
SIMON DAVIES; London School of Economics, The Houston Chronicle, June 27, 1999, SECTION: OUTLOOK; Pg. 1 TITLE: Big Brother Lives // acs-VT2001
FIFTY years ago, a bizarre and terrifying novel went on sale in bookshops across the world. George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four caught the imagination of millions, and in the process catapulted Big Brother into the international vocabulary. The phrase soon became shorthand to represent the power of the state, and helped entire generations to express their fear of intrusion by authority.
To the digital generation, the all-seeing, all-knowing Big Brother is represented by large computer systems. Each adult in the developed world is located, on average, in 300 databases. As these databases converge with the telecommunications spectrum, nearly everyone becomes entangled in a web of surveillance enveloping everything from our bank accounts to our e-mail.
CORPORATE SECTOR IS RUTHLESS IN COLLECTING DATA YOU HAVE NO PRIVACY
USA TODAY, March 12, 1999, SECTION: NEWS; Pg. 14A TITLE: Tech companies to customers: Privacy is history Web // acs-EE2001
While public-relations disasters such as Intel's prompt some action, vast amounts of data continue to get collected from those who use technology to make their lives easier. And the computer industry's attitude toward privacy concerns raised by the amassing and widespread trafficking of personal information seems to range from indifference to hostility. Which seemed to be summed up by Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who was quoted as saying: "You already have zero privacy -- get over it."
BIG BROTHER IN GOVERNMENT IS NOT THE REAL PRIVACY THREAT, BIG BROTHER IN CORPORATE CAPITALISM IS
MARCIA STEPANEK, Business Week, July 26, 1999; Pg. EB30 TITLE: Protecting E-Privacy: Washington Must Step In // acs-VT2001
George Orwell's vision of Big Brother was government run amok. But it's not government that threatens privacy today. It's Internet commerce.
As the Web morphs into a marketplace, personal information has devolved into a commodity. Want to reach, say, 25-year-old males who like country music, earn more than $ 53,000 a year, and live in Chicago? No problem. Data-mining companies such as Boston's Art Technology Group can give interested companies their addresses. Want to snoop on a business rival? MyEureka and other brands of business intelligence software will help fish out tax filings, corporate credit-card receipts, and other goodies from offline databases.
E-COMMERCE AND DATA BASES MEAN BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING
Beth Karlin, Insurance Networking, March 1999: Pg. 24 TITLE: The Struggle Over Privacy: Whose Life Is It Anyway? // acs-VT2001
The fear that Big Brother is watching -- and assimilating the details of an individual's life -- has been around since the first computer went online. Concern was heightened by George Orwell's nightmare vision in his book, "1984."
But now, with electronic commerce gaining momentum and the unprecedented collection and transfer of information among agents and businesses, privacy advocates are even more wary. Their concern grows out of the fact that World Wide Web shoppers can unknowingly leave a data trail that identifies not only their names, addresses and financial data, but medical records and personal interests.
THE THREAT TO PRIVACY COMES FROM CORPORATE CAPITALISM, NOT GOVERNMENT
Alan Ehrenhalt, Governing Magazine, May, 1999;Pg. 7 TITLE: THE MISGUIDED ZEAL OF THE PRIVACY LOBBY // acs-VT2001
If there is a legitimate threat to our personal privacy these days, it comes from corporate capitalism, from the companies that make their living on the sale of information for commercial use. It doesn't come from the county commission, the legislature, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.