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HIPAA

PRIVACYnotes Discussion List
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

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Privacynotes Digest Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine Privacynotes privacy@privacynotes.com www.privacynotes.com
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August 29, 2002 Issue # 023
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

"Technical Malfunctions" ~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

"Snooping Eula" ~ Lyn Bernstein

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

"Digital ID World Conference" ~ Eric Norlin

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//-- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

==> TOPIC: TECHNICAL MALFUNCTIONS

After last week's technical issues and being unable to access the web from -- of all places, an internet conference, we now have two new technical glitches to haunt our otherwise tech-friendly list.

1. This week I attended a family re-union expecting to be able to access the web, send regular posts to an article distribution list, and distribute a daily list that I host. No such luck. The hotel, in a resort area, likes to believe that EVERYONE that stays in their little burg wants to be out of touch with the world while there. WRONG! I was there only BECAUSE I thought that I could STAY IN TOUCH WITH THE WORLD. There were no phones in the hotel. I asked at the front desk if he knew of an internet cafe in the town.

"Nope" he replied casually, as he surfed the web from the behind the counter in the lobby of the hotel. Two of my daily lists were summarily tossed to the winds by a backwater mentality of relaxation rating over and above business needs. Grrrrrrr!!

I contacted customer support at my list host. They rank as the top customer service firm I have EVER dealt with online and not only did they help resolve my list distribution problem, but offered help beyond what I requested so I could enjoy my time in resortville. Public thanks go out to SlingShotMedia.com

2. I returned home to find that my web hosting account was locked up due to another technical glitch on their end. The support person was not in the least interested in solving my problem and literally dozens of urgent communications to support were casually brushed off as a problem on my end or with my computer before the bristling support person realized that my issue was becoming a threat to him.

I asked that he escalate my trouble ticket to upper management because he had refused to help me resolve the issue. He sheepishly responded to that request with a quiet apology for missing something on their end that had created the problem. Even after supposedly fixing the problem, I had to send more urgent requests for a password reset before it finally happened and allowed me access to my email server. 30 hours without email access can be nearly devastating to web professionals. I hope it never happens to you!

Coming back down to earth after my techno-rage eased slightly, I now have had it drilled into my tech-friendly head that most of the rest of the world is tech-deprived, anti-web and unwilling to use existing simplistic technology to make life easier. Next time I travel I will verify web access before closing my front door on the ease of communication I enjoy from my home office.

The loss of email affects this list because my Privacynotes news items are sent to me via email notices and therefore we have none -- thanks to my web host. If you haven't guessed by now, tech incompetence really peeves me!

 

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: SNOOPING EULA

From: Lynn Bernstein

Has everyone seen the new EULA [END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT] from Microsoft? It's on the new Service Packs and other items:

"You agree that in order to protect the integrity of content and software protected by digital rights management ('Secure Content'), Microsoft may provide security related updates to the OS Components that will be automatically downloaded onto your computer. These security related updates may disable your ability to copy and/or play Secure Content and use other software on your computer. If we provide such a security update, we will use reasonable efforts to post notices on a web site explaining the update."

See http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/26768.html for more information.

Lynn BernStein ECG Consulting www.ecg-incc.com

 

===> TOPIC: DIGITALID WORLD CONFERENCE

From: Eric Norlin

Mike Valentine said: >> Last week I attended an internet conference that didn't provide internet access. Everyone was surprised, but the frustration for those of us covering the event for the various media are rather disturbed at needing to pay commercial rates of $30 per hour to access office email, retrieve office documents and file reports from a location without access to the web . . . a conference many Privacynotes readers may be interested in attending themselves. Fellow list member Eric Norlin of DigitalIDWorld offers subscribers to Privacynotes a discount to attend a timely conference, <<

and we will have internet access.....wi-fi and all....

;-)

Eric Norlin Senior Editor, Digital ID World www.digitalidworld.com

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: DIGITALIDWORLD CONFERENCE

From: Eric Norlin

Hey Mike-

as you know, I'm a pretty devoted reader to your list.....its always informative -- with plenty of food for thought....

...and though I haven't had a huge amount of interaction with the other readers of the list -- I wanted to extend an offer to everybody....

We're (www.digitalidworld.com) having a conference in Denver on October 9-11, 2002. This conference directly deals with the issues of privacy in the context of national id systems, the development of new technologies like Palladium, and the use of identity managment systems within the corporation. Speakers include (gee, like everybody): Esther Dyson, John Manferdelli (head of Palladium at msft), Brian Arbogast (head of passport at msft), representatives from sun, novell, versign, verifone, rsa security, a former head of the IRS, the former general counsel for the NSA, the ex-CEO of FedEx, the current CTO of GM, the current CTO of United Airlines, etc etc.....

anyway, we think its gonna be a blast and a great conversation starter.....

So (enough of me blathering)....here's the offer:

'Cuz I think this list's readers will contribute extensively to this conversation, I've arranged for a discount code for registration. That code is:

LNK1009 the code will take $250 off the normal registration fee.....but please don't wait too long on this, as we're selling out the hotel rooms in short order (so while you'll get into the conference, you'd end up staying down the street)....

Anyway, I truly mean this in a spirit of goodwill and not as a sales tactic....

more info here: http://www.digitalidworld.com/conference/2002/

And if I can answer questions, lemme know....

tks Eric Norlin Senior Editor, Digital ID World www.digitalidworld.com

 

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: SPAM - CRIMINAL?

From: Lynn Bernstein

Mike, you asked >> What are you doing and where do you stand regarding spam? <<

I'm going to give you an unexpected answer. I had a client for many years. In the past year they have started using the net, first with

mail, and about two months ago their site was published. I was there last week and one employee lost her address book (file). She was devastated. In the conversation she mentioned she was sending 'announcements' to large groups of customers and potential customers on a regular basis.

This company has their mail server on an ISPs server, it is virtual. Knowing possible consequences if anyone made a spam complaint about these 'announcements', I made a point of warning them. I informed them a

spam complaint could put them on a black hole list, with the result the entire ISP would be included on the black hole list. I also said the ISP

and all their other customers would be very upset. No matter how good a customer my client is, the ISP would not jeopardize their entire business for my client. I suggested this is not a good business practice for my client.

The result of this conversation? The client decided I was telling them how to run their business and severed the relationship.

Although some may feel that was a rather strong reaction (as I do), from the client's point of view, I have in the past told them 'how to run their business' by things such as suggesting they have a 'mailing list' sign-up at trade shows, by telling them they cannot track visitors to their site by ip address (and where each ip address goes on the site), by harvesting the email address of every visitor, by telling them they will get banned from search engines by spamming them with such tricks as using keywords in a small font of the same color as the background of the page, and more.

So I am the bad guy and lost a client.

Lynn Bernstein ECG Consulting www.ecg-incc.com

 

===> TOPIC: SPAM - CRIMINAL?

From: Dirk

>> I'd like to openly ask you here, web professionals, how you are affected by spam and whether you consider it to be a privacy issue. <<

Yesterday, my ISP had us switch mail servers in an attempt to combat spam. It will be six months, or more, before the spam is up to the same level it was yesterday. In addition, I aggressively use spam filters to separate unsolicited trash from regular e-mail. One of the features of spam is that one is frequently bombarded with repetitive messages, all containing the same, or similar messages, making it relatively easy to filter out the majority of spam messages, provided one picks out a few unique phrases out of the body of the spam message to use for filtering.

Spam is a violation of privacy. Spammers are ruining the pristine wilderness of the Internet by littering it with trash and refuse. Fortunately, software developers are finally coming around and developing better e-mail software technology. The new Netscape 7 has the best filters I have seen yet in a web/mail browser, and I have been happily chugging along with only one or two spam mails a day getting into my inbox (Quickly dispatched to the wastebasket, after fine tuning the mail filter to prohibit further messages from the same source / with the same content.)

Everyone will be seeing even better e-mail software than before, with a mailpass feature instead of a mailstop feature. Mailstop filters messages based on allowing only the addresses that the recipient enters into the mail client to pass, and automatically bounces unwanted e-mails, instead of allowing all messages to enter, and then trying to filter them.

The result of that is that the Internet will become more private, and communication channeled, and we'll all lose some of the equality that an open communication system provides. A few ruining it for all. The story of America today, hey?

With Regards, Dirk

P.S. my mail filters are available for all, Provided Mike is willing to host a download section containing the filter. Do your friends a favor, and share your filters!

[ Moderator Comment ]

I'll pass that question right on to the good folks at Privacynotes and let you know by next issue what the consensus is.

 

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

Moderator note: There are two ways to access previously listed privacy news stories. One is to visit Privacynotes archives, the other (simpler) way is to visit

http://privacynotes.com/privacy_news.html where I also keep a privacy news archive.

TRENTON, Aug. 13 — After weeks of negotiations with public advocacy groups and New Jersey media organizations, Gov. James E. McGreevey signed an executive order today rescinding most of the restrictions he imposed last month on the state's new public records act.

Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/14/nyregion/14RECO.html

On August 7, the Iowa Supreme Court granted Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa its motion for a temporary stay against a subpoena issued by officials in Buena Vista County. In an attempt to find the mother of a newborn baby found dead at a recycling center on May 30, a lower court ordered Planned Parenthood to turn over by August 17 the names and addresses of women who had positive pregnancy tests at one of its clinics from August 15, 2001 through May 30, 2002. Planned Parenthood appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court. County officials have until August 19 to file a response to the appeal petition. For more, see “Clinic can keep names confidential for now,” Des Moines Register, Aug. 7, 2002 (http://www.dmregister.com); “Pregnancy tests remain private,” Omaha-World Herald, Aug. 7, 2002 (http://www.omaha.com).

Bush Rolls Back Rules on Privacy of Medical Data The Bush administration on Friday formally rolled back some major protections for the privacy of medical records adopted by President Clinton.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/10/politics/10PRIV.html

If you're interested in the latest thinking about gossip, forget the self-serving plugs on Page Six, Entertainment Tonight and People and pick up the International Journal of Applied Philosophy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/10/arts/10GOSS.html

It's Always Been Washington vs. the Field The urgent question of revamping the Federal Bureau of Investigation lingers.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/11/weekinreview/11LAZA.html

Financial Institutions May Facilitate Identity Theft The Internet eases identity theft. But what victims may find most troubling is that the accomplices may be their own financial institutions.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/12/technology/12IDEN.html?tntemail

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