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and the next privacy rights area: google.
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andrew



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
Posts: 4495
Location: the raging sea

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
But you can go to other stores than Target. You can't go to places on the internet without search engines. If the data can be linked back to a specific person, it shouldn't be kept without explicit agreements. If it is decided that the keeping of data is okay, it needs to never be touched by anything/one who can use it to hurt the browser. The data would have to stay nameless.


Just as there are small alternatives to large corporate "monsters" like Target, there are many, many, MANY search engines that either collect only anonymous data unless they have your express consent to do otherwise (e.g. Jux2), or do not collect any data, period (e.g. Clusty).

I'll say it again: user ignorance, not corporate hijinks, are to blame here.

Search engines (and their relatives, such as Citysearch) differ from these major retail stores in one important way: their principle users receive a free service. Free. You do not pay them. They are giving you something and, as immortalized by Heinlein, "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."

Edit: I speel gud.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Major Tom wrote:
if you're suggesting that target is allowed to rifle through your wallet and attach your credit history, driver's license id and ssn directly to an itemized list of your purchases while you are paying with cash then, yes, please, a list of such cases would well be in order.

otherwise, i don't see the comparison as applicable.


IP, search terms, order history, click-thru origination, etc. are not comparable to credit history, SSN, bank account numbers, etc.; to suggest otherwise is obtuse at best. The point of the comparison is that in utilizing a store or service, you are waiving certain rights, and the company in question is not obligated to warn you or secure your explicit consent beforehand.


connecting ip and/or order history is directly comparable, in that the search engine is seizing information that has nothing to do with the business of searching. moreover, connecting identity to search terms by taking information that has not been offered or using sources of information that have not been authorized for use by the owner of such information is, in essense, theft and also directly leads to the opportunity to link the search terms themselves to credit history, et al.

the rights you are suggesting are waived upon entering a store involve a necessary suspicion of criminal activity on the part of the consumer by the store personnel. the store is not entitled to subject to subject, say, every tenth customer to forcible detainment and search for the heck of it.

the comparison you are making is not apt.
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Lasairfiona



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TANSTAAFL is good and all but Heinlein hated things like ID cards. He can run away to another, sparsely populated planet but I can't. This issue should be fixed.
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andrew



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
connecting ip and/or order history is directly comparable, in that the search engine is seizing information that has nothing to do with the business of searching. moreover, connecting identity to search terms by taking information that has not been offered or using sources of information that have not been authorized for use by the owner of such information is, in essense, theft and also directly leads to the opportunity to link the search terms themselves to credit history, et al.


I'm sure you'll find that every search engine collecting personal data has justified this collection with sufficient reasons. Some common ones:

- Personalizing the search process to yield more appropriate results and targeted advertising.
- Improving the programs and associated algorithms used in the search process, thereby improving the product for the user.

Please demonstrate how search terms connected with IP and/or order history or even full name and billing address can legally be linked to credit history, etc. They cannot. The pursuit of credit history, unless you have made it public, requires your active consent, either in writing or via a manually entered electronic signature.

Again, an active consent is not necessary for the collection of non-sensitive personal data. For every search engine I can think of, use indicates consent. It is not theft.

It's also very easy to simply mask or change your IP and all outgoing personal information, allowing you to utilize servics like Google's without disclosing any personal information. Once again, consumer ignorance is to blame.

Major Tom wrote:
the rights you are suggesting are waived upon entering a store involve a necessary suspicion of criminal activity on the part of the consumer by the store personnel. the store is not entitled to subject to subject, say, every tenth customer to forcible detainment and search for the heck of it.

the comparison you are making is not apt.


Regardless of whether proof/suspicion of criminal activity is a prerequisite for detainment, Target employees are not law enforcement officers, and without waiving consent they would have no right to detain you, even on suspicion of criminal activity.

Lasairfiona wrote:
TANSTAAFL is good and all but Heinlein hated things like ID cards. He can run away to another, sparsely populated planet but I can't. This issue should be fixed.


Yes, Heinlein hated ID cards; he hated large, centralized government, period. He would absolutely despise any attempt to legislate into law that businesses couldn't utilize information you were handing to them.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Please demonstrate how search terms connected with IP and/or order history or even full name and billing address can legally be linked to credit history, etc. They cannot.


credit reports are available for sale. you have consented to the compilation of your financial history every time you have signed a creditcard application or otherwise actively entered into a business agreement with a credit card company, signed up for a bank account, signed a loan agreement, and so on...

they can.

andrew wrote:
Again, an active consent is not necessary for the collection of non-sensitive personal data. For every search engine I can think of, use indicates consent. It is not theft.


google can be used as a search engine without e-signing any agreement.

whatever you mean by active consent not being required for the for-profit use of personal information, you are not clear and quite plausibly completely incorrect.

it is theft.


andrew wrote:
Regardless of whether proof/suspicion of criminal activity is a prerequisite for detainment, Target employees are not law enforcement officers


misdirection. you do not have to be a law enforcement officer to prevent the theft of 'your own' goods -- employees of a company, if they are so charged, are as responsible to prevent theft as the legal owner would want to be his or her self.

you've added nothing.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm heading home from work to more work, so it may be a while before I get around to responding further; just clarifying that I'm not dismissing/ignoring you, I'm just in transit.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the issue in all this (to me, at least) is not whether a company retains information that i give it, it's whether the company can then pass that information along to a third party without my express permission. if google wants to take up space keeping all my searches, i'm not too worried - after all, i did choose to use their service. but if they want to turn it over to an advertiser who will contact me directly, or a government that's just trolling for people they can call criminals - that, i don't care for. and i don't think it should be allowed.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
credit reports are available for sale. you have consented to the compilation of your financial history every time you have signed a creditcard application or otherwise actively entered into a business agreement with a credit card company, signed up for a bank account, signed a loan agreement, and so on...

they can.


According to the FTC, credit reports are only legally available for purchase to creditors, insurers, employers, and other businesses that use the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. ALL of these must have your express consent before obtaining a report. In the case of employers, even electronic consent is not sufficient.

They cannot.

Quote:
google can be used as a search engine without e-signing any agreement.

whatever you mean by active consent not being required for the for-profit use of personal information, you are not clear and quite plausibly completely incorrect.

it is theft.


Google and most other websites can be used without e-signing an agreement; however, in using the website you are passively agreeing to abide by the website's Terms of Service.

The very first thing the Google Terms of Service wrote:
Welcome! By using Google's search engine or other Google services ("Google Services"), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service").


Hence, in using the service, you are signing away certain rights you might otherwise be entitled to. This includes, in many cases, the use of personal information obtained by the company in the course of your use of Google's service. In agreeing to the Google Terms of Service, you are agreeing that you acknowledge their Privacy Policy, the pertinent portion of which I've quoted below:

The Google Privacy Policy wrote:

Google cookies - When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies - a small file containing a string of characters - to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service by storing user preferences and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some Google features and services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled.


Quote:
- We may use personal information to provide the services you've requested, including services that display customized content and advertising.
- We may also use personal information for auditing, research and analysis to operate and improve Google technologies and services.
- We may share aggregated non-personal information with third parties outside of Google.
- When we use third parties to assist us in processing your personal information, we require that they comply with our Privacy Policy and any other appropriate confidentiality and security measures.
- We may also share information with third parties in limited circumstances, including when complying with legal process, preventing fraud or imminent harm, and ensuring the security of our network and services.


Not theft, even though Google uses this information as an indirect means of generating income.

Quote:
misdirection. you do not have to be a law enforcement officer to prevent the theft of 'your own' goods -- employees of a company, if they are so charged, are as responsible to prevent theft as the legal owner would want to be his or her self.

you've added nothing.


I'm admittedly fuzzy when it comes to the regarding the protection of property, but I'm fairly certain that corporate entities are legally entitled to wider scale, reprecussion free actions when it comes to detaining and searching customers. Whether this is legislated into law or it arises from corporations standardizing what actions can and cannot be taken (where an individual is likely to overstep their boundaries), I'm not sure. Regardless, I'll drop this angle.
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nathan



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 6282

PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
If you shop at Target, you give them the right to search and seizure. You give them the right to use force to detain you. You give them these rights when you walk through their doors, and they do not need to tell you about it until it becomes applicable. This has been upheld repeatedly in court; I will reference specific cases if you'd like.


Please do.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
the information in your report to evaluate your applications for credit, insurance, employment, or renting a home. ALL of these must have your express consent before obtaining a report. In the case of employers, even electronic consent is not sufficient.

They cannot.

finally, we are discussing what is legal as opposed to what is possible.

and, so -- don't be an ass. no one spoke of electronic consent as a way to legally consent to someone obtaining credit reports. to suggest that i have is mistaken.

furthermore, i'm the one that mentioned that credit reports are compiled by way of active consent.

at least i see that you are open to understanding the legal limitations vs. the "ready" opportunities of electronic information and interaction. there is, perhaps, promise.

however, you certainly haven't begun to back up your "nu'uhh" with anything approaching an explanation of what you think you mean.

they can.
andrew wrote:
Quote:
google can be used as a search engine without e-signing any agreement.

whatever you mean by active consent not being required for the for-profit use of personal information, you are not clear and quite plausibly completely incorrect.

it is theft.


Google and most other websites can be used without e-signing an agreement; however, in using the website you are passively agreeing to abide by the website's Terms of Service.


legally unenforceable in terms of corporate cya vs. unconstitutionality, babe.

strike two, again.

andrew wrote:
The very first thing the Google Terms of Service wrote:
Welcome! By using Google's search engine or other Google services ("Google Services"), you agree to be bound by the following terms and conditions (the "Terms of Service").


Hence, in using the service, you are signing away certain rights you might otherwise be entitled to.


i do believe you've been bluffing this whole time.

you are not now, nor have you been, certain that we're talking solely about the morons that allow search engines to leave cookies on their machine.

that would have been a form of active consent, no?

well, yes, actually.




andrew wrote:
Not theft, even though Google uses this information as an indirect means of generating income.

OH COME ON.

how many "indirect means of generating income" can you name that are actually NOT imaginary and/or bullshit?

what do you even think you mean by that term?

andrew wrote:
I'll drop this angle.


i appreciate that choice since, as i said,
Major Tom wrote:
i don't see the comparison as applicable.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathan wrote:
andrew wrote:
If you shop at Target, you give them the right to search and seizure. You give them the right to use force to detain you. You give them these rights when you walk through their doors, and they do not need to tell you about it until it becomes applicable. This has been upheld repeatedly in court; I will reference specific cases if you'd like.


Please do.


Certainly. PM me your e-mail address; I'll gather up the references.
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nathan



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just post links.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Major Tom wrote:
finally, we are discussing what is legal as opposed to what is possible.


I was trying specifically to address only what is legal, not what is possible. What is possible is so nebulous that discussing it is pretty pointless.

Quote:
and, so -- don't be an ass. no one spoke of electronic consent as a way to legally consent to someone obtaining credit reports. to suggest that i have is mistaken.


See what I just said.

Quote:
furthermore, i'm the one that mentioned that credit reports are compiled by way of active consent.


I'm going to nix most of the rest of my response since we've apparently been operating under completely different assumptions. Really, I've been talking about what's legal, not what's possible.

Quote:
legally unenforceable in terms of corporate cya vs. unconstitutionality, babe.

strike two, again.


You probably won't accept anecdotal evidence (I know I wouldn't), but I've watched as websites I've built for clients have come under fire for the way they were used. One even went to a court case. The ruling was in favor of the company. I think you'd be hard pressed to show sufficient legal precedent that Google's use of the information they're obtaining is unconstitutional, but I suppose that would be the entire point of attempting to legislate against them.

Quote:
i do believe you've been bluffing this whole time.

you are not now, nor have you been, certain that we're talking solely about the morons that allow search engines to leave cookies on their machine.

that would have been a form of active consent, no?

well, yes, actually.


Given that many users simply elect to nullify the first notification and never receive subsequent ones, I wouldn't call that "active consent." YMMV.

Quote:
OH COME ON.

how many "indirect means of generating income" can you name that are actually NOT imaginary and/or bullshit?

what do you even think you mean by that term?


You're quibbling unimportant semantics, but I'll explain what I mean:

Google is not selling their users' information. They are not exchanging that information for services or money. These are transactions I would consider utilizing the information for direct income.

Instead, Google utilizes the information to optimize their own search processes to make the best possible product, thereby increasing their customer traffic and justifying the rates they charge companies for search result placement & AdWords. Further, the unique use of user information to generate targetted advertising makes them more appealing to advertisers. This increases their income. I consider this an indirect use of the information to generate income.

I apologize that we got off on the wrong foot; when last we interacted, you were being an ass, and I reacted badly. This was an attempt at relatively civil conversation, but you seem unwilling to participate, which may partly be my fault: I should have made it clear in the first place that I was so attempting.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathan wrote:
Just post links.


I looked; the cases in question aren't well referenced online, as they are mostly small, local cases in WA state. I'd need to obtain paper copies from the security managers at local Target stores (who I'm friends with, as an aside, which is why this isn't completely and totally out of the way).

Alternately, I can just ask them for case numbers, and you can do the online digging yourself.

Edit to add: I'll re-check the LOC when I have case numbers and/or the name of both parties, but my first look didn't turn anything up.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

straight to it andrew - you're dodging and full of hope.
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