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Do you know what records about your activities, finances, and preferences are being amassed in large databases that are available to businesses, banks, the government, and criminals?

Government Agencies Use Personal Information to Make Public Policy
"Forty-three administrative agencies are found to have established a database of 12.5 million "policy customers" and regularly send e-mails to them to publicize the government's policies. In particular, 18 government agencies have been grading and managing about 6.7 million people's personal information, including e-mail address."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 08:03:40 EDT 2005

SurfControl Internet Threat Database Exceeds 12 Million URLs
"SurfControl (LSE: SRF), a world leader in enterprises threat protection, today announced the Company's Internet Threat Database has grown to more than 12 million URLs. More than one million new Websites have been added over the past 30 days, a growth driven by the increasing use of blended internet threats by cyber criminals."
Full story -
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 19 07:50:30 EDT 2005

NETHERLANDS Database to track all Dutch from birth
"The Dutch government plans to open an electronic file on every child at birth to help spot and protect troubled children of the future. Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, all citizens will be tracked from cradle to grave in a single database--including health, education, family and police records--the Health Ministry said Tuesday."
Full story - Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 14 09:59:25 EDT 2005

Panel: New rules, tech needed for data privacy
"The feds need new privacy rules and technological methods to police their use of personal data from contractors like ChoicePoint and Acxiom, representatives from within and outside the government suggested Friday... The best protection against privacy intrusions is "for the government not to have the data for any long amount of time," O'Connor Kelly said. "Let's use basic holding and processing constraints to limit the government's access to data, whatever the source.""
Full story - CNET news
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 9 17:25:09 EDT 2005

Report: IT blueprints should address privacy issues
"New IT tools such as data mining ought to be used for homeland security only if their intrusiveness on privacy and infringement of due process rights can be adequately addressed in advance, according to a new report from a task force sponsored by the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank."
Full story - Washington Technology
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 7 16:07:07 EDT 2005

Zoom Information: People Information Summarized
"... "We all have identities-at work, at home, and on the Web," says Jonathan Stern, founder and CEO of Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zoom Information (ne Eliyon Technologies). "Information about people is infused everywhere on the Internet, but it's not organized. What we've done is collect huge amounts of information about people and put it all in one place . . . allowing them to manage their Web identities.""
Full story - RedNova
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 4 10:55:12 EDT 2005

Akaka: feds do data-mining wrong
"The feds do data-mining with inadequate privacy safeguards, according to a new Government Accountability Office study commissioned by Sen. Daniel Akaka. Agencies are not following key procedures to protect personal information in federal data mining systems, the GAO study found."
Full story - Pacific Business News
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Aug 30 08:51:33 EDT 2005

Data mining found to flunk privacy rules
"None of five federal agencies using electronic data mining to track terrorists, catch criminals or prevent fraud complied with all rules for gathering citizen information. As a result, they cannot ensure that individual privacy rights are appropriately protected, congressional investigators said Monday."
Full story - The Mercury News
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 20:03:14 EDT 2005

Federal Data Miners Urged To Better Address Citizen Privacy
"Federal investigators say the government isn't doing all it should to notify citizens that information about them is being collected by systems employing data-mining techniques. The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, reviewed five data-mining efforts employed by the Small Business Administration, Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, the State Department, and the FBI."
Full story - InformationWeek
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 29 17:19:12 EDT 2005

Jewish data wanted by marketers
"A marketing company in Shirley boasts that it can send out a mailing to "everyone in the area who is of Jewish descent." The claims of another company, AllMedia Inc. in Plano, Texas, are even bolder: Not only will it furnish the names, addresses and phone numbers of Jews, but it can also list their profession, political affiliation and membership in Jewish organizations."
Full story - Jewish Advocate
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 20:31:35 EDT 2005

Dotcoms to track people for UK Govt
"The British Government is to employ dotcoms to keep tabs on its citizens. A pilot scheme due to be launched next month will automatically inform different Government departments when people move house or change address., and the Royal Mail - which all provide change of address services - will take part in the Net-based trial."
Full story - The Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Aug 15 10:41:56 EDT 2005

Data Mining or Data Warehousing?
"There is a lot of confusion concerning the terms data mining and data warehousing (also referred to as business intelligence in the marketplace today). To my chagrin, many IT professionals use the two terms interchangeably, with little hesitation or regard for the differences between the two types of applications. While the goals of both are related, and often overlap; data mining and data warehousing are dedicated to furnishing different types of analytics, for different types of users and therefore merit their own space."
Full story - Business Intelligence Network
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Aug 4 11:44:30 EDT 2005

Behind-the-Scenes Battle on Tracking Data Mining
"Bush administration officials are opposing an effort in Congress under the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act to force the government to disclose its use of data-mining techniques in tracking suspects in terrorism cases. As part of the vote in the House this week to extend major parts of the antiterrorism law permanently, lawmakers agreed to include a little-noticed provision that would require the Justice Department to report to Congress annually on government-wide efforts to develop and use data-mining technology to track intelligence patterns."
Full story - The Ledger
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Jul 24 06:27:15 EDT 2005

Every move you make
"... For the past two years, the Howard Government has been working on a scheme to make identity issues a lot less confusing for itself. It's not that the authorities want to know more about you. They already know a lot more than you think. There is more personal detail about you - some of it alarmingly personal - carefully documented and tucked away in discreet packets of data inside computer systems across the country. The Government just wants be sure that the person wanting a service - at the Customs counter, in the doctor's surgery, at the Centrelink office or on the internet - is the person they claim to be."
Full story - Australian IT
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Jul 22 12:54:40 EDT 2005

Uncle Sam Wants You: The Identity Stripping of American Citizens
"... For about three years, until it was publicly revealed in 2002, the Denver, Colorado, police kept what became known as the "spy files," documents that contained personal data of about 3,200 individuals who attended peaceful protests. The files also included information from intercepted e-mails, apparently none of which hinted at or suggested the use of any violence. Among 208 organizations the police classified as "criminal extremist" were the American Friends Service Committee XE "American Friends Service Committee" , a nonviolent Quaker organization; and Amnesty International. The Bush Administration has spawned a number of database programs, most of which have met with significant opposition."
Full story - Counterbias
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Jul 19 12:52:40 EDT 2005

Google's growth prompts privacy concerns
"Google is at once a powerful search engine and a growing e-mail provider. It runs a blogging service, makes software to speed Web traffic and has ambitions to become a digital library. And it is developing a payments service. Although many Internet users eagerly await each new technology from Google Inc., its rapid expansion is also prompting concerns that the company may know too much: what you read, where you surf and travel, whom you write."
Full story - Mercury News
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Jul 18 00:03:59 EDT 2005

US Recruiting Database Inspires Outrage
"Privacy advocates and anti-war campaigners in the US are outraged at revelations that the Defense Department and a private contractor have been building an extensive database of 30 million 16-to-25-year-olds to assist military recruiters. They say the department violated the federal Privacy Act by commencing the building of the database - which combines names with Social Security numbers, grade-point averages, e-mail addresses and phone numbers - three years ago but only filing a notice announcing plans for it in May. The Privacy Act requires that government agencies accept public comment before new records systems are created."
Full story - CIO
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Jul 11 23:29:13 EDT 2005

Other resources on DATA MINING:
  • The GAO Report on Data Mining - Aug. 2005
  • Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX)
  • Data Mining Moves Into the States: An ACLU Issue Brief (.pdf)

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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 ...
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    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 ...
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    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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