RE: privacy/openness

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Fri Jul 20 2001 - 17:24:16 MDT

Mike Lorrey writes

> If we are going to be so discriminating, we need to discriminate by the
> circumstances underwhich you came to know information about me, by what
> relationship of confidence and trust was involved, and individuals must
> consistently behave in a manner consistent with that trust.
> For example, selling web server information about me to anybody while at
> the same time resisting on 'confidential relationship' grounds against
> law enforcement obtaining the same information is logically
> inconsistent.

I'm not sure what "resisting" you are talking about. Many will
perceive a difference between government doing the snooping, at
public expense, and private parties doing the snooping. Agreed,
someone here might be "logically inconsistent", but I have less
of a problem with that than the use of force or enactment of
unnecessary laws (of course).

> Similarly, a doctor refusing to provide health care information to, say,
> a minor patient's parents, while at the same time providing that
> information to sundry government agencies and insurance and drug
> companies is similarly inconsistent.

Maybe so, but the doctor is within his legal rights to do so,
and should remain free to do so.

> If you advertise a privacy policy, there should be legal remedies to its
> inconsistent application, arbitrary adjustment, or outright abrogation,
> that those who the information is about have a right to pursue with
> meaningful consequences if the violator is found guilty.

This sounds to me as if you are arguing for "truth in advertizing".
Failure to conform with one's publicly made promises is fraud, I
suppose. No argument here, if I'm rightly understanding you.

> One method of dealing with this is to implement actual trust/reputation
> brokers that are functional and deal with privacy much as credit
> agencies deal with financial responsibility, and lobby the DMA to
> require that its members post up-to-the-minute trust ratings on their
> privacy policy page.

This is entirely different from what you were talking about
before. This has little to do with fraud or violation of
laws, and is a commendable free-market solution that doesn't
impose on anyone's liberties.

Lee Corbin

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