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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
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

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Published by: Mike Banks Valentine
PrivacyNotes.com
privacy@website101.com www.Privacynotes.com
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April 4, 2002 Issue # 004
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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....

// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

"Notice Without Consent" ~ Mike Banks Valentine

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

"YAHOO! Yanks Privacy" ~ Anonymous

"Technology Affects Privacy" ~ Antonin Scalia ~ Moderator Comment

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

"Who Reads Privacy Policies?" ~anonymous ~Moderator Comment

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"

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// -- MODERATOR COMMENT -- //

YAHOO! this week revised their privacy policy and is sending notice, but without asking permission, to it's millions of free account holders of the change. In press releases announcing the privacy update (see the MSNBC news story linked below), YAHOO! suggests that the move is simply a procedural action to allow legal investigations when requested by law enforcement agencies. A second notation suggests that they be allowed to sell member information to any corporation that might buy YAHOO! properties as an asset of that potential sale.

But YAHOO! fails to mention publicly what is involved with changes to how information is shared on existing members with a YAHOO! ID. The change is sweeping and massive internally as it now requires every existing member to opt-out of wide information sharing with partners, advertisers and myriad YAHOO! properties such as the free email account holders, Geocities free web site members, Yahoogroups (formerly Onelist.com) email list distribution system and their giant web directory advertisers (anyone who has paid to list their site).

The action by YAHOO! prompted a flurry of angry email Friday across dozens of discussion lists and newsletters suggesting immediate changes to YAHOO! profiles by current members. I received the following note from two sources, both of which told me they had reproduced it from a list they belonged to and didn't know the original poster. As in many cases of email campaigns, the source is elusive, but the message is valid and calls for serious attention.

In other privacy news (see news links at bottom), DoubleClick agreed to settle Federal and State Litigation in the case that did more to alert the public of online privacy abuses than any other single controversy. Not surprisingly, very little has been said publicly by DoubleClick on the settlement so far. Shall we resurrect that conversation?

~ Mike Banks Valentine

 

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: YAHOO! YANKS PRIVACY!

You may remember when you signed up for a Yahoo ID and were asked by them if you wished to receive any "Special Offers & Marketing Communications." Yahoo recently revised their privacy policy. As a result, and regardless if you chose to receive any of these "Special Offers" or not when you signed up for your Yahoo ID, Yahoo have set every single person who has a Yahoo ID (and those that have more than one) to "Yes" in these preferences.

This means that you may well be inundated with even more junk mail than you are already receiving.

In order to change your settings back to whatever you had them at before, you will need to log in to your account and physically change them.

Login at the following URL - you will be prompted for your Yahoo ID and password:

http://edit.my.yahoo.com/config/eval_profile

The middle segment within the Member Information (email addresses) section has a link to: Edit your marketing references. Click on this link and you will see all of your settings were changed to "Yes." Meaning of course that you will receive all kinds of "offers" from Yahoo and their "partners."

Unless you wish to receive even more junk mail than you are already getting, you may wish to go through the entire page and choose whether to receive

such notices. Also, right at the bottom of the page are other ways you could be notified - by phone or postal mail. Unless you wish to receive unsolicited phone calls and paper junk mail, you will need to change these settings to "No" also.

Once you have finished your selections, make sure you click on the Save Changes button right at the bottom of the page.

Yahoo is supposedly sending out notices to all its users regarding this particular change. However, it is estimated it will take several weeks for everyone to receive their notification.

 

===> YAHOO! YANKS PRIVACY!

From: Anonymous

Yahoo has added an area to it's website that allows you to receive SPAM and they haven't told you about it. However, you can do something about it!

============DIRECTIONS=============

Go to http://groups.yahoo.com/

Click on Account Info in the upper right hand corner.

When you log in and get to your Account Information screen, scroll down to the "Members Information" section. Tap on "Edit your marketing preferences".

Most likely you're signed up for everything. Tap on the 16 "no" buttons

Then scroll to the bottom of the page to "Other Deliveries" and tap on the last two no's

Then tap on "Save Changes".

==> YAHOO! YANKS PRIVACY!

From: Anonymous

I think this ranks up there as one of 'scummiest' of all time maneuvers by a major on line player. Not only did they unilaterally decide to opt in their members to a number of internal lists, they changed the default to yes to share information with third parties... including PHYSICAL ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBERS!

 

===> TOPIC: TECHNOLOGY AFFECTS PRIVACY

"It would be foolish to contend that the degree of privacy secured to citizens by the Fourth Amendment has been entirely unaffected by the advance of technology"

-- U.S. Supreme Court Jusice Antonin Scalia

[ Moderator Comment ] Justice Scalia is not a member of the list, but clearly we'd welcome his insights. ;-) ~ Mike

 

// -- CONTINUING DISCUSSION -- //

===> TOPIC: WHO READS PRIVACY POLICIES?

From: Anonymous

I find I never read privacy policies because if I don't already trust the company to be reasonable with my personal contact info, I don't believe anything written in their privacy policy either.

I do see the sales value of having a privacy policy readily available on your site. Surely some folks will be reassured by them and thus continue the transaction.

But personally I have to wonder what the point is. A company who is going to immediately sell my contact info to every spammer in eastern Europe isn't going to say anything worth reading in their privacy policy, eh?

Sincerely, Anonymous

[ Moderator Comment ]: I was previously comfortable with YAHOO! since I had ALREADY made my choice not to receive any marketing information from their partners or internal properties. It seems that even major players can go from trusted to UMMM . . . not trusted, in a single sweeping flourish. I revisited and RE-Opted-out this week, but when will they toss that and require me to RE-Opt-out again? ~ Mike

 

===> TOPIC: PRIVACY NEWS

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has joined eight state law enforcers in the United States and four Canadian agencies in an initiative targeting deceptive spam and Internet fraud. The agencies have brought 63 law enforcement actions against Web-based scams ranging from auction fraud to bogus cancer cure sites, and have sent more than 500 letters warning people sending deceptive spam that it is illegal. The task force has been dubbed "NetForce"

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2002/04/spam.htm

DoubleClick agrees to settle Privacy Litigation. Internet advertiser DoubleClick Inc. on Friday said it had agreed to purge consumer information it had collected and adhere to an enhanced privacy policy, as part of a settlement of federal and state class action lawsuits filed against the firm. DoubleClick agreed to notification and opt-in approval for combining individual clickstream data with other personally identifiable data. It also agreed to pay $1.8 million in legal fees.

http://reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=search&StoryID=757089

A lot of companies are busy gathering customer data, but knowing how to put that data to good use remains an obstacle for many firms. Data mining is growing dramatically, but data warehousing poses huge obstacles to that fine line between personalization and privacy invasion. This study of Customer Relationship Management implementation skims the surface of what to do with all that data once collected.

http://www.emarketer.com/analysis/ebusiness/pepprog_one2one_20020325 html

Crime-Fighting by Computer Widens Scope. New York City's renowned Compstat (short for computational statistics) crime-fighting program, originally created to measure and map serious crime in city neighborhoods, has grown into a sweeping data-collection machine that traces hundreds of factors, many of which appear distant from the nuts and bolts of police work.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/24/nyregion/24COMP.html (Free membership required to read story, but read the privacy policy first!)

Yahoo March 28 — The giant web portal has revised its privacy policy to more clearly describe how user data will be treated in certain circumstances, company officials said. THE NEW POLICY states Yahoo will share information to investigate circumstances involving illegal activity such as fraud, violations of its terms of service agreement and the use of its service for potential threats. The revision also said Yahoo will transfer user information if it is acquired by another company and abide by the acquiring company’s privacy policy.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/730862.asp

A Loss to Medical Privacy Opinion By DONNA E. SHALALA, former Health and Human Services Director for Clinton Administration says that the Bush administration must be careful not to accept changes to regulations that could lead to the misuse of patients' personal health information.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/30/opinion/30SHAL.html?todaysheadlines> (Free membership required to read story, but read the privacy policy first!)

 

 

 

 

 

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