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What personal privacy do you give up by using "customer loyalty" cards? Do RFID tags on merchandise jeopardize your privacy? And what about giving your personal details to merchants online?

Can Zero-Knowledge Tags Protect Privacy?
"A Danish startup is developing an RFID system that uses a zero-knowledge authentication protocol to protect consumer privacy, while allowing an item's tag to remain alive."
Full story - RFID Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:27:09 EDT 2005

Worldwide Shopping
"The Better Business Bureau offers these tips for safe shopping on the Internet:"
Full story - Courier Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 15 09:05:26 EDT 2005

Debate rages over radio-chip tracking
"... What makes the University of Wisconsin's lab unique is the collaboration with industry and a focus on the physics and engineering behind the technology, said Sweeney, who has visited other RFID labs. Critics worry, however, that the university is contributing to technology that could ultimately track humans."
Full story - STLtoday
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 5 17:49:26 EDT 2005

Companies dinged on Web privacy
"The Customer Respect Group, the Boston research firm that conducted the study, rated the privacy practices of a whopping 72 percent of 464 North American companies it surveyed earlier this year as "poor" with respect to reusing personal data for marketing purposes."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 24 07:50:08 EDT 2005

B-to-C Retailers Get A Lesson In Online Data Privacy
"The results of an interesting report surfaced today: an organization called The Customer Respect Group, which calls itself "an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their customers online," released some teaser findings from its 2005 Privacy Report."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 23 16:00:51 EDT 2005

Consumers Want Personalization -- and Privacy
"Personalization remains something most consumers want, though their privacy fears continue to escalate. According to the second annual personalization study conducted by personalization vendor Choicestream, 80 percent of consumers in the 2005 survey were interested in receiving personalized content."
Full story - ClickZStats
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 16 11:32:46 EDT 2005

Liquor Store ID Scanner: Safeguard or Invasion of Privacy?
"An identification scanning device used in Idaho's 54 state-run liquor stores since Spring 2004 is meant to ensure driver licenses are valid, but it also has some concerned about privacy issues. One watchdog group has dubbed the machine 'Big Brother' on its web site."
Full story - KBCI 2
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Aug 10 09:42:49 EDT 2005

Store asked for too much information
"Alberta's Privacy Commissioner says a Calgary Canadian Tire store was collecting more information about customers than it should have when consumers were returning goods for refunds. A customer of the store on Hunterhorn Drive said that the store's practice of collecting and keeping customer's driver license numbers invaded his privacy."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 09:35:04 EDT 2005

Opinion: If You Promise Customers Privacy, Deliver!
"If you're wondering whether recent high-profile losses of customer data -- not to mention under-the-counter sales of private customer information -- are affecting end-user behavior, here's the answer: Yes. According to two new industry reports, consumers are starting to figure out that many online privacy policies marked "To Serve Customers" are actually cookbooks -- and the customers are the entree. And those customers are starting to leave the kitchen."
Full story - InformationWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 2 10:54:47 EDT 2005

Researching RFID's Surveillance Potential
"... The Sorting Door project aims to examine the potential for RFID's application to surveillance, and to assess the resulting impact on privacy of such an application. The research will focus on surveillance of individuals based on RFID tags embedded in clothing they are wearing, or in devices or objects they are carrying, such as building access badges and contactless payment cards."
Full story - RFID Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jul 29 10:36:11 EDT 2005

Ontario consumer protection law to affect websites
"Companies wishing to do on-line business in Ontario will have to take a hard look at their websites to see whether they comply with a new consumer-protection law, but it's for their own good, an Ottawa lawyer says. The Consumer Protection Act, which comes into effect Saturday, sets explicit guidelines on how Internet-based business must be conducted... The act applies to all companies, large and small, that do business in Ontario, even when one of the parties is not in the province. Problems might arise, however, if an Ontario customer runs into trouble with a foreign seller that does not feel bound by Ontario law, or has no assets in Ontario that can be seized."
Full story - Globe and Mail
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Jul 28 09:39:54 EDT 2005

Other resources on SHOPPING:
  • CASPIAN: Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering
  • EPIC RFID page
  • Elan Legal Articles - Online Shopping
  • Shop Safely Online - the Federal Trade Commission

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    Privacy Watch Index

    FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
    From The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one ...
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    FaceTime Identifies Fake Google Toolbar Propagated Thru Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    FaceTime today warns users about malicious links being spread through instant messaging (IM) and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) which downloads a rogue, fake Google toolbar and adware on users machines and re-directs users to a ...
    Read more

    Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
    ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications ...
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    Start-up getting financing for fingerprint technology
    A San Francisco start-up, Pay By Touch Solutions, is expected to announce today $130 million in fresh financing for a novel way of paying for groceries and other goods and services: a machine that reads ...
    Read more

    Court strikes down bank privacy law
    Federal law trumps California's law restricting financial institutions from distributing information about their customers to affiliated businesses, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Tuesday...
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    FTC Targets Company Secretly Installing Spyware that Can't Be Uninstalled
    Odysseus Marketing and its principal, Walter Rines, advertised software they claimed would allow consumers to engage in peer-to-peer file sharing anonymously... The agency charges that the claims are bogus. First, the software does not make ...
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    Another data security bill in the works
    Rep. Mike Castle, a Delaware Republican, said at a Visa cardholder security conference here that he plans to introduce "in the next couple of days" a revised version of the bill that he has been ...
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    Government Cracks Down On Spyware Operation
    Government regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of unwitting Internet users, rendering them helpless to a flood of pop-up ads, computer crashes and other annoyances...
    Read more

    Touch-screen voters feel exposed
    ... The Diebold machines - which will be installed at voting precincts throughout Utah by 2006 - sit atop stands and have tilt-top screens and plastic covers that can be adjusted. But some voters felt ...
    Read more

    Protect, don't suffocate me on ID theft (opinion)
    I am not myself these days. I don't know who I am, but I am definitely not myself. A lady on the phone as much as told me so. This was after she had given ...
    Read more

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