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Privacy? Bah! Who Needs that?!

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    The title of that thread was me about 8 years ago, before the internet was as popular as it is today.

    Today, I am a bit different and people who see others enthralled by privacy up to obsessive levels would not understand why. Well, perhaps this will help?

    I present you, Exchibit A:

    Ever seen one of those pop-ups that promises to find out <a href="http://www.books4you.addr.com/NetDetective.html">"Anything about Anyone?"</a>

    Obviously, Liam Youens did, as he paid Docusearch Inc. $150 for the Social Security number and work address of Amy Boyer, a woman he went to high school with.

    <a href="http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/4835862.htm">On October 15, 1999, Youens shot and killed her outside her office, then took his own life.</a>
  2. midranger4

    midranger4 Banned

    What might you suggest to avoid this type of thing from happening again Ethics? Are you saying companies like Docusearch should not be allowed to operate?

    I'm curious. Did Docusearch provide any information to Liam Youens that could not have been obtained through legal channels?

    I kinda thought these type of companies simply eliminated the leg work required to gather such information on one's own.

    Although this death is tragic indeed I am inclined to think that the isolated abuse as demonstrated by Liam Youens is a price we pay for the freedom we all enjoy.
  3. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I am in the dark as far as what these companies do. My point was to make it very very VERY difficult for them to get anything.

    Unlisted number, shred my mail, that sort of stuff. :)
  4. valgore

    valgore Veteran Member

    privacy is a big part of our freedom Midranger4 not the other way around. our privacy has taken a beating with this "war on terrorism" and it always amazes me when people say " I have nothing to hide". It is those of us who have nothing to hide who have the most to lose.
  5. midranger4

    midranger4 Banned

    If they are supplying information not within the public domain I am in absolute agreement...shut them down.

    If the information they are providing is part of the public record their is likely little that can be done to stop them from operating.

    I see your point clearly in that someone with an axe to grind can obtain what is normally difficult to obtain information with the swipe of a credit card.
  6. midranger4

    midranger4 Banned

    If the information provided by these companies is obtained in the manner you reference they should not only be shut down but locked up as well.

    A bit off topic but some companies actually use credit checks as a means of screening potential employees. I find such practices abhorrent and a violation of privacy rights. Who is to say an applicant with previous financial difficulties is any less qualified than someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth?
  7. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I personally believe that our privacy is being sacrificed on the altar of the almighty dollar. I have a problem with that.

    I have less problem with making some sacrifices in order to not get killed.
  8. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Just this afternoon someone called me and tried to get information out of me regarding my son who is not at my address.
    Seems she got my number (unlisted) from my sister in law, who she had called first. I assume they got her from the phone book...she's listed. We aren't. I was quite disturbed that my sister in law gave out information that isn't her's to give. I gave the woman that called no information... and she was digging, asking questions as to who I was, and aren't I his mother, and where is he working and doesn't he live with me.

    Everyone has to be very careful about the information they give out to someone over the phone. You never know what their real motives are.
  9. Coriolis

    Coriolis Bob's your uncle

    I'm bit of a privacy fanatic myself -- I rarely (unless it's work related on a trusted site) put personal information on the web, and only recently started making on-line purchases (with a check card in a separate bank account to minimize any potential losses). I even registered my own web site with a domain by proxy service to minimize the chance that my personal info (address, phone number etc.) will get misused.

    That said, however, I can't necessarily condemn a company that makes use of public information (assuming it is acquired by above board means) to help people locate other people. I can think of many good uses of a such a service -- finding a long lost relative or friend, or perhaps even an estranged parent or sibling. Like many services or products, they can be used appropriately or inappropriately. Just like it's hard to know whether someone is purchasing a barrel of fertilzer to help the tomatoes grow, or to make a bomb (ok, perhaps not the best analogy, but I'm sure you get my drift).

    There is a line that can get crossed however, and that's when the info is acquired by illegal means (ie. gathered from stolen credit card or bank info, DMV records, etc.). However, it's not likely the company selling the look-up service who is breaking the law, but more than likely the individual(s) selling the info to them. Such a trail is hard to follow when it comes to culpability.

    I think the best thing one can do is to be very careful who one shares their personal info with.
  10. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    I hope you gave her a piece of your mind?

    Scary stuff there, Cyd.
  11. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    I'm sure it was a bill collector of some sort, but I told her he doesn't live here. That's when she told me my sister inlaw gave her the information that he lives here and that I'm his mother.
    I didn't reply. She then said, well, he's 26, isn't he? I just told her that if he is, that makes him an adult, free to give out information if he wants. She then started to ask another question and I just hung up.

    As for the agencies that give out information.... I tried to use them one to locate both of my step sons...the one above included.
    They gave me outdate old information. I went to a private dectective who gave me firm information as to where they were, along with their mother's location, the amount she pays in rent, and her SS #. (none of which I asked for or used in anyway.) She then went on to say, since they were across country, that for an additional $250.00 she would give me the mother's unlisted phone number. We used that money for plane tickets instead. So, I don't know how or where they get their info... but they have an awful lot of it.
  12. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    I'm sure Copzilla knows as a trained LEO many ways to gather information on someone. Likewise the ways one can go about avoiding detection. There are plenty of books on the subject out there and information on the internet.

    What worries me is the way private information is gathered for the most inappropriate of reasons. Copzilla is right about the altar of the almighty dollar. Just look at what happens when you do any sort of financial transaction involving credit. You are bombarded by financial institution 'partners' who want to sell you everything from insurance to repair services. It's the same with other transactions. What do I care about their partners? I just want the loan.

    States want to sell license information to marketers so they can generate revenue. Once information becomes public domain, it's very hard to make sure the information is used responsibly.

    Now with Poindexter's scheme to monitor all computer generated traffic, the potential for databases to get hosed scares the hell out of me. Credit bureaus are bad enough right now, national information repositories could be a nightmare (who's to say how long data is stored/purged and based on what criteria).
  13. Sir Joseph

    Sir Joseph Registered User

    Just an FYI, for online purchases, it's better to use a real credit card than a check card. Most check cards offer no protection against fraud. All credit cards do offer protection.
    As for privacy, until recently I never even gave out my first name on the web. I use to have a different login at the other place. I only (within the year??) switched to SJ. Especially with spiders and bots, you have to be diligent.
  14. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    it is not surprising to me that this type of information can be gained from public record at all. People are unfortunately not nearly as concerned as they should be in regards to their privacy. My brother works for a very large collections agency and I have met some of the skip tracers he employs. Considering what they told me they can find about someone within an hour, services like this were bound to exist.
  15. valgore

    valgore Veteran Member

    Around here the grocery stores have shopper cards and if you don't have a card you pay full price for items that are on sale. the stores get a price break for these sale items from their vendors so if they are charging someone full price because they don't have a card then the stores are just lining their pockets. What a scam! but whats even worse is that with these cards the stores know who you are,where you live, how often you shop there and what you buy. I am sure king George is just creaming in his jeans trying to figure out a way to use this kind of thing in his "war on terrorism".
  16. Jedi Writer

    Jedi Writer Guest

    Here, click on any of the links below if you want to spend some time doing some thinking and reading between the lines. Use your reasoning and analytical abilities to decipher the uses of some the stuff listed.

    Click on the one listed first and read it. It will give you a foundation. After that click on any site you want.

    One can find out anything they want on you and its all legal. It may not be right but it's legal.

    Final note: The private sector has far more on you then any government agency. Far more. This fact is so vastly understood or even known that it is frigthening!



  17. Advocat

    Advocat Viral Memes a Speciality Staff Member

    Many years ago, my first career was as an investigative journalist, pre-Internet. I can state categorically that the vast majority of people have no idea just how much <i>paper</i> information is available, detaling personal and "private" information, for free or for a minor charge.

    And that's without using the Net!

    Internet PIs have been used by stalkers, ex-husbands, ex-cons out for revenge, etc., for years, generating fear, assaults and murders. Most PI and Internet detectives protect themselves by requiring the people hiring them to give a good reason for needing to find the person(s) in question, but some will accept the flimsiest of stories.
  18. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Val, this is why I no longer shop in markets like that. I think that's pathetic.
  19. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    I don't mean to sound paranoid or anything but;

    Have you ever thought about what the 'composite data base' could contain by including the data from your car's 'EasyPass' (or the like) transponder that automatically collects your fee for using the 'toll' highways?
    Exactly where you were, and when.
    Exactly how fast you were going (a little math).

    Yet, millions sign up for it, for convience.
    Just a thought.
  20. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Let me take a different approach to this problem, if I may.

    The murderer was mentally deranged. He was seriously sick. His illness was a proximate cause of her death.

    The question, as I see it, is should we restrict legitimate activities on the chance that a deranged individual or other criminal may take advantage of those activities in the commission of a crime?

    The question is, of course, rhetorical.

    Restricting the freedoms of the larger body of society is not the way to protect that body from the small percentage who prey upon it.

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