Post on privacy

The Post’s Ellen Nakashima follows a real estate agent around for a day pointing out all of the times when she’s being tracked – whether it’s by a security camera, email server, electronic toll collector or search engine. (There’s no mention of whether the agent visited washingtonpost.com and all the tracking there.) Ironically, the story provides a lot of details on the woman’s personal life.

The story does a good job of putting complex technologies into terms the average person can relate to. Unlike most such stories, there’s little fearmongering. It’s worth a read. There’s also a reader chat.

One surprise:

Domino’s, which hopes to have a national database of customers soon, says it does not share or sell customer information. But companies that specialize in providing unlisted and cellphone numbers, among other records, often buy phone numbers from pizza delivery services, according to Merlin Information Services, a data broker.

I’ll have to give my pizza place a different number.

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About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is CEO of redesign | mobile. Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. His personal blog is at http://blog.agrawals.org and tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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One Response to Post on privacy

  1. gray williams says:

    Cost of a one-way trip on the Dulles toll? $.50
    Domino’s pizza? $9.99
    Reader’s comments? Priceless

    “We should call for the abolishment of the credit unions.”

    Credit Unions? Credit Unions are the source?
    Well, truth be told, the WMHFCU (Washington Minions of Hell Federal Credit Union) does have somewhat of a “history”…

    “Who is to stop some one from allocation everyone with green eyes or who has purple hair in to a list and send them hate mail or a computer virus?”

    Just reminded me of my honey-do list…

    “I think some of the cameras are invading our privacy
    because we are not aware the camara is there.”

    First printers, then file clerks. The better angels of our nature just became the latest technology roadkill.

    “They may also help divorce lawyers find adulterers but thats not the worst thing in the world either.”

    Speaking of Abe Lincoln, didn’t he also say in the first inaugural, “Can we in all good conscience, as civilized men, allow that which helps divorce lawyers to survive?”

    “But this much is true: We cannot live in a vacuum even Thoreau left his footprints in the snow.”

    Speaking of tracking, how about the browsing history of some of these commentators?
    What are the odds this guy has a tracking cookie from hightimes.com? (How many levels of funny is that? I can see the Jim Gaffigan/Conan/SNL sketch now.)

    “After all, the government is run by people, just like Enron was run by people and people are not all to be trusted. Wake up and smell the privacy invasion – it is all around!”

    This post is by…anonymous! Oh, delicious irony.

    “Based on your studies, what segment of society will be affected adversely by the technological age of Big Brother?”

    The research is inconclusive, but to all you adulteres, credit unions and green eyed purple people, it doesn’t look so good.

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