Privacy For the Poor

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Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

Respecting Privacy on the Web

Privacynotes Digest
Security Protecting Privacy is Good for Business

This Issue Is Brought To You By
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July 18, 2002 Issue # 018

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.....IN THIS DIGEST.....


"Upcoming Privacy Events"

// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //

"Privacy For the Poor" ~ Nancy Ryan


"Privacy Fee" ~ John Gabree

"Privacy Policy Company?" ~ Lynn Bernstein

"Privacy Advocacy" ~ Mike Valentine

// -- PRIVACY NEWS -- //

"The Latest in Privacy Issues"



ILPF Conference 2002: Security v. Privacy. Internet Law & Policy Forum. September 17-19, 2002. Seattle, WA. For more information:

Privacy2002: Information, Security & New Global Realities. Technology Policy Group. September 24-26, 2002. Cleveland, OH. For more information:

Bridging the Digital Divide: Challenge and Opportunities. 3rd World Summit on Internet and Multimedia. October 8-11, 2002. Montreux, Switzerland. For more information:

2002 WSEAS International Conference on Information Security (ICIS '02). World Scientific and Engineering Academy and Society. October 14-17, 2002. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. For more information:

IAPO Privacy & Security Conference. International Association of Privacy Officers. October 16-18, 2002. Chicago, IL. For more information:

3rd Annual Privacy and Security Workshop: Privacy & Security: Totally Committed. Centre for Applied Cryptographic Research, University of Waterloo and the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario. University of Toronto. November 7-8, 2002. Toronto, Canada. For more information:

18th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference (ACSAC): Practical Solutions to Real Security Problems. Applied Computer Security Associates. December 9-13, 2002. Las Vegas, NV. For more information:

Third Annual Privacy Summit. International Association of Privacy Officers. February 26-28, 2003. Washington, DC. For more information:

CFP2003: 13th Annual Conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy. Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). April 1-4, 2003. New York, NY. For more information:


// -- NEW DISCUSSION -- //


From: Nancy Ryan

I just learned today about a change in the world of public assistance. By federal law, all foodstamps must now be EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer). Not sure the date of the change, but foodstamps (a federal program) will now be available only thru use of an EBT card that works like an ATM card. It will be accepted at all major grocery stores. No longer will there be paper food stamps. No longer can you get cash change for a purchase. Just run your EBT card through the ATM machine in the checkout line, enter your PIN, and the amount of your eligible food purchase (the machine will automatically separate foodstamp purchases from nonfood purchases) will automatically be deducted from your foodstamp balance. No more mailing out foodstamps and having people say there were lost in the mail. If your card is used and your PIN is entered, you CANNOT, under any circumstances, get replacement for foodstamp amounts used.

Not sure yet what will happen with the little mom-and-pop store that doesn't have the machine where you swipe your card at the checkout. Remember, for years the big grocery stores have avoided poorer neighborhoods, so often mom-and-pop provided the only place to shop.

In addition to foodstamps, cash aid like AFDC (now called TANF), where you get cash for dependent children, is also going EBT. There will be ATM machines where you can withdraw cash up to 4 times per month without charge (there will be a charge if you do it more than 4 times per month) or you can use the card for point-of-sale purchases (no limit on the number of those you can do for free). If you have a checking account, they can direct deposit to your own account. If not, Citicorp will handle your account. Again, no replacements for "lost money" if it was obtained with your card and your PIN.

There will be an 800 number for 24/7 questions about your account. Guess where the center is located? India. You know, the country on the other side of the world that is thinking of going to war with Pakistan. The American welfare system creating jobs abroad.

Counties can also opt in to EBT to handle General Assistance.

Obviously the government and the corporate world will now be able to keep track of where you spend every cent of your food stamps, and most of your cash assistance. Do we want this? True, it's taxpayer money. But what about privacy? Dignity? You can't make me believe Citicorp won't be doing something with all the info they get.

And what happens when the computer goes down?

Thought you might be interested, from a techie as well as privacy point of view.




From: John Gabree

People already sacrifice their privacy for a "fee." Corporations don't have to offer cash. In exchange for convenience, consumers allow themselves to be tracked so that they can save the names of albums in their shopping carts until they next visit or be greeted by name when they return to countless news, retail and service sites. And then there is the information they offer up to get an astronomically long shot at that $11 million. And didn't those who participated in the paid-to-surf fad eons ago give up a whole lot of information about themselves to make pennies as they surfed? $5 a month? Seems steep.

John Gabree Reliability Affordability Functionality For a special promotional discount:



From: Lynn Bernstein

For David Hauser, or anyone else interested, my company, ECG, will help create a privacy policy. This issue is so important, along with other security, I produced a presentation about it at PC Expo last month. Since this is an obvious blatant self-promotion to answer the question, please look at, or

for more information. For an added incentive, I will give a 10% discount

to anyone on security services (privacy is part of security) from this list only thru August 31, 2002. Simply email .

Lynn Bernstein ECG Consulting



From: Mike Valentine

Eric Norlin said:

>> As for Homeland Security linking together databases: people ask me sometimes why i'm so lax about the idea of the government knowing everything about me. Admittedly i'm biased -- I worked in the world of intelligence for a time -- the idea of them knowing everything doesn't bother me because they already do. None of the above would seem to indicate that I'm operating under "blind trust" -- and i can get more detailed, if you'd like <<

Please do "get more detailed" Eric. I'd love to hear insider viewpoints from those involved in building a single sign-on system, as it seems inevitable. When you say that the idea of government "knowing everything doesn't bother me because they already do", does that mean that they already know everything about you or about all of us? If it's just you that government already knows everything about, was that just up to the point you ceased to work "in the world of intelligence" or do they continue to? If you meant that they already know everything about all of us, then does that mean it is acceptable and that big brother is already here? I'm very interested in more details there!


// -- 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 where I also keep a privacy news archive.

Location-based wireless services are just around the bend, and a good dose of controversy is bound to arrive with them. Though services that can pinpoint a user's exact location through a mobile phone signal offer promising applications, especially for public safety, they also promise the opportunity for widespread invasions of privacy . Location information can be used in many ways -- from beneficial to downright malicious. What is troubling to many is that the power to use the data properly rests almost entirely in the hands of mobile operators.

Florida Issues Subpoenas to Investigate Prozac Mailing On July 9, 2002, the Florida Attorney General issued investigative subpoenas to Eli Lilly & Co., Walgreens and a number of health care providers to determine whether state laws were violated when Prozac tablets were mailed unsolicited to a Florida resident. In the most recent twist on direct marketing of pharmaceuticals to patients, the individual received an envelope from Walgreens that included a letter encouraging the patient to switch to Prozac Weekly along with a free one-month trial of the drug. The Attorney General’s office is concerned not only with the unsolicited delivery of a prescription drug, but also with the possibility that privacy rights were violated by the misuse of medical information to target likely candidates for a particular drug.

Florida Attorney General Settles Eckerd Marketing Investigation The Florida Attorney General’s Office announced July 10, 2002, that it had reached a settlement with Eckerd Drug Corporation in the investigation of the company’s use of private medical information for commercial purposes. The attorney general had been investigating Eckerd’s practice of having customers sign a form that not only acknowledged receipt of a prescription but also authorized the store to release prescription information to Eckerd Corp. for future marketing purposes. The form apparently did not adequately inform customers that they were authorizing the commercial use of their personal medical information.

WASHINGTON, July 9 Under Congressional pressure, the Bush administration said today that it was open to the idea of installing a chief privacy officer in a new Department of Homeland Security to make sure it weighed issues of confidentiality and the secure handling of personal information. "If you bring us a proposal, I think we'd look at it very carefully, Privacy is a very important function." Mr. Barr opened a subcommittee hearing by asking Mr. Everson what steps would be taken "to ensure the privacy of personally identifiable information as the new agency establishes necessary databases that coordinate with other agencies of the government."

For many interactive marketers, one solution to that threat is permission-based (also called opt-in) marketing. Behind permission-based marketing’s significance is the mounting focus on privacy matters among the American population. This focus is not simply an online or an e-mail phenomenon—and it’s not even a "phenomenon," if that means a fad or a trend. Instead, privacy concerns represent a sea change in how people are ready to deal with corporations and government, and what they expect from those institutions in return.

More than 14 million Americans are under continual electronic surveillance by their employers, who not only watch e-mail, chats, and Web traffic but also look into employee files, according to a July 2001 report issued by the Privacy Foundation, a Denver-based advocacy group. In some cases, the monitoring is reactive—as was the case with General Dynamics. Most of the time, however, companies watch their workers hoping to nip problems in the bud. Any machine that belongs to a company is fair game. The company doesn't need a warrant—or your permission.

Every new technology gives birth to new security and privacy fears. When mobile phones first started gaining popularity in the late '80s and early '90s, it seemed anyone who could navigate a Radio Shack could put together a little receiver to intercept random cell traffic from the air. Although carriers have made it a little harder to do that today, the sense that some conversations are better had in person, or over a wired line, has not disappeared.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., July 3 "Enclosed you will find a free one month trial of Prozac Weekly," it said. "Congratulations on being one step to full recovery." The mailing infuriated one recipient, a 59-year-old home caregiver who filed a class-action lawsuit this week in state court here. "They're going after me because I have a problem," said the caregiver, who agreed to an interview in her lawyer's office here on the condition that her name be withheld. "It bothers me to think that somebody could get into my medical records and start sending me dangerous medications." The suit says Walgreens, a local hospital, three doctors and Eli Lilly, which makes Prozac, misused patients' medical records and invaded their privacy. It also accused the drugstore and Lilly of engaging in the unauthorized practice of medicine.

Cellphones, with their unlisted numbers, have long been more or less safe from the marketing that bombards kitchen phones, mailboxes and e-mail in-boxes. But that electronic cocoon is starting to fray. Telemarketers are increasingly reaching people on their cellphones. Wireless phone services say they are receiving a growing number of complaints from consumers angry because the calls are costing them money. So many complaints, in fact, that a backlash has begun. Companies and consumers are suing telemarketers. Legislators in at least four states are trying to regulate such calls, and a bill barring cellphone spam has been introduced in Congress. 5318 E. 2nd St. #789 Long Beach, CA 90803