Saturday, February 26, 2005

Is Momentum Building Against Database Aggregation of Personal Data?

Rob Hyndman reacts to the increasing number of reports of identity thefts and personal data disclosures by speculating whether Americans are now ready to do something about it:

There has been an increasing number of media stories lately on this topic, and the tone has decidedly changed, I think (disclosures of the week - PayMaxx and Bank of America - read David Fraser's post on this one - unbelievable).  My sense is that the avalanche of identity thefts and data disclosures we've seen lately, in particular the ChoicePoint case, has considerably sensitized the public to the issue.  Are people ready to re-think database aggregation per se? (I thought they were ready after former Admiral John Poindexter was bounced out of the Pentagon's Total Information Awareness program, but that wasn't the case).  Or are the aggregators going to see us getting a lot tougher on how they use and securely protect the data?

Well, if political interest in the issue is any barometer of its relevance to the public, they may well be in for it.  US Senator Chuck Schumer has come out on the issue with all guns blazing, and Westlaw is right in his sights.  The NYT has a story on Schumer's new campaign issue concern for privacy and data security.

Sabrini Pacifici rounds it out with a great collection of links to resources on this issue.

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