We live in a land under one of the most unique systems of government in the world. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were not merely mentioned in the Declaration of Independence in passing. “They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” This was the signed document that set this nation apart from others. Now ask yourself fellow citizen what is your most important possession?
Perhaps with careful examination of your own inventory you may overlook your own name. It is the basis for what comprises your identity. Everyday however our identities are literally up for sale, which undermines the well-being of each and every citizen as well as our economy and American society itself. This threat has existed for decades and is on the verge of becoming a national tragedy.
We are afforded rights and privacy is not among them. It is not mentioned in any of the writings. The Constitution only mentions property once. It is wrongly assumed that the Founders did not consider property rights important. Actually property rights were address in many ways in both the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The importance of property is recognized in every branch of our federal government. The courts focus on property at almost every turn. Yet privacy is not mentioned often, and your right to your own name which is the key to your own existence is ignored.
The laws of the United States are derived from what is called common law. Common law is the basis our very legal system. Definitions and concepts exist in common law that impacts us all. The idea of what is understood as right or correct within with society comes from many different influences. Not all of these are written into our legal system.
Under a free society it is not the natural order of government to only to prescribe to what has been written, as a singular guide to existence. Lawmakers and the courts switched the actual intent of the framers and created law to be conceived in a literal sense, it is also known as doctrine of absurdity. Forever changing the intention of the framers that rights had to be expressed to be granted.
Privacy has always been an expected state of the basis of our own beings. It is an inherited ideal which in my opinion the framers took for granted and did not feel the need to express. There is an idea that we all possess of what private means to us individually. You know in your person what private means to you. There is no a law or doctrine that states the meaning of private and what is not.
The infringement of your life is not yet complete. It may be frightening, and you may have an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness over your information. You are not alone; most Americans feel the very same way. There is something shocking that you should be aware of, the very idea that your information is not yours is a myth. It is repeated with such clarity that it has been ingrained within society. It simply is not true.
Our daily interactions contain many information gathering techniques. Many individuals fall under the common belief that our names are up for grabs. As a result, our sole existence is entwined in an increasingly cloaked marketplace of information. The thought of identity as a personal property seems to be fading away. It helps to have experience with the very forces that want a stake in our identities. My professional experience in the data brokerage business has offered me a unique perspective into the looming challenges we currently face.
One may have a personal sense of choosing who and when to offer his or her own name and other information to others when in public. In the data world, your name and virtually any other piece of information about you are collected. More often than not, it is sold to others. With or without your permission or awareness, there are very large and powerful forces bent on turning that knowledge into gain. Companies do not have to be large. The companies can consist of the cozy mom and pop shops next door that you have become accustomed to deal with on a daily basis. The owners of the store may not know that they contribute to the information grabbing that is taking place.
Large corporations make money on the very association of your name without your knowledge or permission and certainly do not share the proceeds. As the official owner of your name, you have never been alerted to who trades or sells your information. We also are not notified when or how our information has traveled.
Our actions are constantly monitored and recorded and are done by several forces, including our own government. We have many powerful entities monitoring our every activity. It seems virtually impossible to function as a modern American citizen without surrendering significant aspects of our privacy. Many of those that track our movements are doing so for profit. The agencies of the government and the NSA (National Security Agency) seem to have invaded our entire existence. Governmental spying is not the focus of this writing. The NSA is not turning our existence into a monetary exchange. It is not the government that is making the profit from our actions. It is not selling our information as a form of profit like that of private industry. What is more important to understand is that your property has been violated, and others are profiting without compensating you.
An increasingly elaborate and interconnected web was constructed based on our personal information and became part of a multibillion dollar industry. Information has been known to be harvested from a vast and increasingly intrusive array of collection instruments. Our belief system has allowed us to be bullied and betrayed by our own devices. What we receive out of this arrangement is an overwhelming feeling of insecurity that manifests itself into a general mistrust in technology and the corporations snooping on our actions.
One can think of it as the newest form of slavery. Our identities are sold as if we do not hold any rights or ownership of ourselves. Our value is associated with our actions, and we are not entitled to monetary compensation. Everything we do, all of our actions and ideas, everything that makes each of us who we are is coming under the gavel of a highly profitable identity slave market – so profitable, that there are new perpetrators lining up to get in on the bounty.
The credit industry perpetrates the illusion that your personal information is collected to better the economy by weeding out those who pose damaging financial risks and embracing those who are financially sound. However, there is a growing consensus that credit scores are wildly inconsistent, inaccurate and unfair. The credit system not only creates limitations but can also become a barrier to gainful employment, the procurement of insurance and the cost of interest when purchasing automobiles or homes. If that isn’t concerning enough, the credit industry is involved in an even larger assault on our privacy. In particular, under the banner of national security, the credit industry is supported by the government, including the offices that are supposed to safeguard our privacy. Through our tax dollars, we actually pay to shore up the very industry that would enslave our identities.
Before I delve deeper, it may help to start with a clear sense of what privacy means.
Pri-va-cy n.The quality or state of being hidden from, or undisturbed by, the observation or activities of other persons, there is no privacy in a barracks|| freedom from undesirable intrusions, to respect someone’s privacy. From The new Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary 1998
The actual idea of privacy is important but its concept has different impacts worldwide. It varies from culture to culture and across different points in history and prevailing conditions. Ordinary people may think of privacy as something personal, obvious and unchanging, it is as malleable as play dough, especially in the hands of those with power such as big business and government. The government has become quite distant from our domestic lives and even has its own sense of privacy and property.
The government’s management of our cities, state, local municipalities, and the county as a whole is too large an endeavor to exist without information about its population. The information in many cases is crucial for our dealing with each other. We live in a free society with open records, thus, even with promises of confidentiality; our information remains prime for the picking. It’s been available since the beginning of our nation. However, since the invention of the computer and internet it’s become for sale. While I strongly advocate for freedom of information, I believe we should reject being exposed, objectified and monetized using that information.
The protection of privacy has a deep heredity within the government. The concern over the privacy of the population was inevitable during the middle of the Industrial Age that occurred over 100 years ago. Judge Thomas McIntyre Cooley wrote in ‘A Treatise on the Law of Torts: Or the Wrongs which Arise Independent of Contract’, 2nd edition 1888, page 29 under the classification of legal rights “Personal Immunity the right of one’s person is said to be a right of complete immunity: to be let alone.” ‘The Right To Privacy’ was originally published in 1890 by Louis Brandeis and Samuel Warren in 4 Harvard Law Review 193 it describes privacy and its condition at length. Instead of congress acting from the suggestions from the writing it has been left to be sited anytime anyone merely mentions privacy. What was adopted was regulation that would be part of the solution to anyone peering into our most private of affairs. Instead of regulation becoming the solution, congress has redefined an industry and allowed it to become the most nosey and intrusive organizations set upon the same society it set out to protect.
The regulatory efforts of Congress imposed upon the credit and banking industries happen so frequently that we have permanent committees within both the house and senate. The abuse of the general consumer is a constant struggle that government efforts contend with and attempts to balance. There should never be a consideration made by the government pitting privacy of the population versus economic decisions. The primary function of the credit system determining the likelihood of repayment for goods has been lost. It has instead crept its way into the cost of goods. It also decides who can work or be educated.
The government wrote the regulation that depicts who is able to gain access to information or how long it can be viewed. Current regulatory efforts do not restrict the types of information that is gathered or the amount of an individuals’ actions. It would be hard if not impossible for the government to regulate concepts before they are created; this is one problem with the regulatory approach. It is always instituted after the genie gets out of the bottle.
It is my personal belief that it would be implausible for the government or politicians to regulate potential ideas before it is expressed. It is simple logic that ideas need to be expressed before legislation can be instituted. The founding fathers would have never dreamt that our population would become monetized as a whole. Our existence would later become a perpetual harvest to be profited by eternally. There is something intrinsically very wrong with a system that places more value to a humans name and identity than the human itself.
The people in the government also are part of the system, and they are influenced by what has become ingrained within society. The idea holds true even to this day, and the problem is that legislative action is slow. It takes representative government time to garner enough complaints to react to broken systems. The advances of technology far outpace the reaction of government. People suffer by being infringed upon and find acceptable behavior that should be considered illegal practices.
One of the best legal descriptions of privacy as it applies to the general population comes from an interview broadcast on CSPAN. The current Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who while describing the changing direction of the court, in recording conversations stated “conversations are covered by this vague right of privacy that is contained in the constitution.” His choosing of the word vague comes from his years as an educator in the legal field, and a sitting justice for the highest court of the United States.
The recording of conversations was referenced from the courts’ rulings of the interpretation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. The Amendments to the Constitution are referred to as the Bill of Rights. At the time of the writing of those documents, the general concernment was of an oppressive government not unyielding interests of corporations. The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power.
The majority of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights dictates rules for the people of the United States and its dealing with the entity called the government, not with each other. This concept is difficult for many people to understand or grasp. The afforded rights of the population are often misinterpreted by those that educate. Take, for example, the foundation of our privacy when we interact with the government. It provides the following:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. –Amendment IV U.S. Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment only protects you against searches that violate your reasonable expectation of privacy. A reasonable expectation of privacy exists if you actually expect privacy, and your expectation is one that society as a whole would think is legitimate.
The expectation of privacy ruling came as a decision of the United States, Supreme Court in 1967, Katz v. United States; holding that when a person enters a telephone booth, and shuts the door, and makes a call, the government cannot record what that person says on the phone without a warrant.
In this case the recording device was stuck to the outside of the glass on a phone booth and did not physically invade Katz’s private space, the Supreme Court decided that when Katz shut the phone booth’s door, he justifiably expected that no one would hear his conversation, and that it was this expectation, rather than the inside of the phone booth itself, that was protected from government intrusion by the Fourth Amendment. This idea is generally phrased as “the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places.”
You may knowingly expose a lot more than you really know or intend, to about yourself to the government. Most information that a third party collects such as your insurance records, credit records, bank records, travel records, library records, phone records and even the records your grocery store keeps when you use your loyalty card to get discounts , was given freely to them by you, and is probably not protected by the Fourth Amendment under current law. There may be privacy statutes that protect against the sharing of information about you some communication records receive special legal protection, for example but there is likely no constitutional protection, and it is often very easy for the government to get a hold of these third-party records without your ever being notified.
Prior to 1974, many computer systems had been installed in the various departments of the executive branch of the federal government. The information free flow that followed included the IRS, and it was common place for information to be disclosed to people who really didn’t have a right to the information. The passage of the Right to Privacy Act solved some of the federal data leakage. It also instituted a general misconception within the population. Many people will refer to this act as if it somehow protects them. The act limited the disclosure of information by the executive branch of the federal government only. Additionally the Privacy Act officially dehumanized the people of the United States by lumping all of us into a computerized system. This act contains three major categories; “system of records”, “statistical record” or “routine use”.
The problem with the Privacy Act is that the American people believed it in a broader sense. It did achieve privacy and a right from the executive branch from disclosing countless details like census and IRS records. There is disassociation of what the United States government has institutionalized as privacy. The average U.S citizen’s sense of privacy and belief and expectation are not in concert with reality.
Congress and those that are politicians like to use sexy to names in legislation for advertising. The good sounding names of legislation are what they attach to their accomplishments and gain re-election with. This practice many times has nothing to do with the actual contents of the legislation or what the intention really is, it just sounds good. The Right to Privacy Act sounds good, but it has nothing to do with our dealings with each other, and certainly has no form of compensation for using your property outside of the government. It does however set a value to information misused of not more than five-thousand dollars by employees of the government.
There are regulations that were designed and implemented to guard personal types of information. The various credit reform acts limit access to consumer credit reporting information by third parties. The total lack and disregard of securing credit card transactions has fostered a worldwide epidemic in stolen credit card numbers. Large industries have often influenced legislators to pass criminal laws to protect the interest in the information it gathered. It also sways efforts in the legal systems to protect its interest by criminalizing activity.
The banking industry is no exception, and the monetary system of the United States is tied heavily to credit. The United States Secret Service and our tax dollars are allocated to the enforcement of the banking systems own problems. It is far cheaper to lobby congress and have tax dollar enforcement than pursue civilly or fix its own security issues.
The government protects the monetary system and considers it a matter of national security. It has been the long range goal of the credit and reporting industries to tie itself to the banking industry and to be institutionalized to the degree that it is also protected by the federal government.
Individual safety and security are eroded anytime the government gives preferential treatment toward outside intuitions, over the protection of the people. At times, the general misconception surrounding the credit system is that it was created so that the majority of laws protected the individual. There is not anything in U.S. law that protects the ownership of a person’s name or the rights thereof. It is a systemic problem that must be handled by individuals who were forced to navigate though a financial hierarchy that is bigger than their own selves
We have grown up in a time when our development and adherence to our credit score is critical. The credit system does not care about you. Your life, your family and our friends have become only data points to a system that treat us all, like an oversized ant farm.
The influence of big finance and the credit reporting system is not out of the courts either. The very idea that an individual’s identity does not have any value comes from the belief that your name is public information. Multiple court rulings set the precedence surrounding the protection of the credit reporting industry. As a result, all three credit reporting agencies lost an unfathomable amount of consumer data. The overall wisdom of court rulings provided only a couple of years of credit monitoring service for the millions affected. We have been so influenced by the credit system that our worth as humans has been defined by our credit scores.
The rise of identity theft and compromised credit information has inadvertently allowed the reporting companies to influence Congress. The reporting companies have operated under the guise of being self-regulatory. As a result, consumers are left to not only navigate the informational highway but to lobby for an accurate depiction of their true credit information. There was no system of checks and balances that would regulate this industry, and it created a financial burden on the consumer when he or she made any attempt to rectify incorrect, inconsistent credit information.
The very perception of credit is that it should be private, and it is our own property. As a forced participant of modern-day society, we hold a misconception that credit is available to us at our own free will. Credit bureau reports are not always accurate or readily available. Using the internet, it is dictatorship control that prevents constant timely access to our own information. There is no excuse, in the internet age that anyone should not be able to check their credit record any time they want. Each and every one of the former lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves for caving into the greed of the credit reporting systems.
All of the credit reporting agencies house proprietary information that categorizes late payments made by the consumer. There is no recording for payments made ahead of time or efforts to prepay debt. Our credit identity is up to the highest bidder without our consent or forethought of any transactions or applications that we fill out. Everything that we do is categorized and filed, which is unknown to us and becomes restricted public access. Your name belongs to you and credit reporting agencies have taken your name and information without your permission.
One of the confusing factors for the consumer marketplace is that there are multiple credit scores holding different values. The credit reporting system is a very profitable industry. Merchants pay to report credit information and also for inquiries. The consumer becomes a dual-faceted horse that further runs the machine. At one end, the merchants feed information to the system and reporting comes out the other.
Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (abbreviated FACT Act or FACTA, Pub.L. 108–159), an amendment to the FCRA passed in 2003, consumers are able to receive one free credit report per year from each of the reporting agencies. Previously, consumers had difficulties in obtaining their own information and had to pay for their reports. In the beginning, the credit reporting agencies offered dysfunctional web interfaces and other sleight of hand tricks. After passage of FCRA, internet websites promoted free credit reports in banner advertisements on major search engines and landing pages. One major credit reporting agency Experian offered a “free credit report” which would enroll users into a credit-monitoring service. In 2005, Experian accepted a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that it had violated a previous settlement. As a result, it fostered another industry.
The alternative credit monitoring services on the internet bypass the permission of the consumer and almost all the protection of the regulatory system. As a result, the consumer information was offered up for the sole discretion and ownership of the data collector. A search of a free credit report in any internet search engine will reveal many of these companies. A simple search of many of the companies on the internet, are out-right scams and are in place to steal your information.
Another area of protection through regulation occurs with medical records. The HIPPA (HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1996 Public Law 104-191 104th Congress) and the later Affordable Care Act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act H.R. 3590 111th Congress, 2009–2010) regulated medical records. This created laws to regulate and protect patient confidentiality.
Drugstores and other merchants carry loyalty cards that house and openly market consumer data that has shown to be a pervasive problem that sidesteps the protection of regulation. A simple application at one of these stores, to obtain a few cents off of a dollar fuels several multibillion dollar industries that sell your information without your consent.
As a society, we are led to believe in the confidentiality of our medical records during and after our office visit. Unless we experience the system first hand, we hold steadfast to the belief of a reasonable sense of privacy under the law and regulation to privacy. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the wherewithal or means to navigate through the system or learn our lesson so-to-speak. Many insurance policies require the payment system at the doctor’s office. Payment and credit card systems regularly record where you spend money, and once again your information becomes property of a database. It would be insidious to suggest that you can separate yourself from what has been openly or privately categorized as your identity.
Lists categorize you as an individual and who you reside with. Credit reporting companies have free range to assign new residences into your credit score whether or not you lived there. That’s just a residence, what about other inaccurate information that may cause serious disruptions in your life or those of your family that are listed in public documents. A delinquent bill such as a telephone bill may be inaccurately reported to the credit bureau in a minors name when it was actually the legal responsibility of the parent. Having public information so readily available to these credit companies can create a wide array of mishaps that are not regulated.
The value that the credit system places on society is misleading. It makes selling to those who have bad credit a threat to merchants. This logic has been a significant bone of contention since its inception. We are forced to fuel the system when we enter the marketplace. We unknowingly become the commodity in our endeavors for daily goods. Simple coupons, discounts, or warranties appear attractive until we realize how far and in how many hands our information travels.
As an innocent consumer, we authorize corporations, without knowing who their clients, contractors or business partners are to record our information. Behind the scenes, business intelligence on clients equates to big money. Depending on the company, it is not necessarily the product that the consumer is buying that is important to meet the bottom line. In actuality, your consumer information can be bought, sold, or traded to the point where the value of what you purchased has nothing to do with you walking into the big chain conglomerate.
There is a significant marketing strategy that has already been spoken for and designed towards your every move. We are able to gain business intelligence and track consumer data due to the informational footprint that you have readily provided.
Make no mistake that conglomerates aren’t waiting for your information. As a general consumer, you have already been identified. Your place of residence is one of the most monumental keys of your identity.
The problem with privacy is that there is no such mechanism for compensation by the actions of another within that form of framework. Property, however, has a long history of compensation for the use of it.
The very idea of your information as a property right is not new. The United States Senate has maintained ownership of this idea for over 30 years. On February 8th, 1971, The Wall Street Journal printed a story entitled Sen Ervin vs. ‘Information Power’ by David C. Anderson. It consisted of “one privacy expert suggests that a person’s right of privacy of information about himself ought to be given the legal status of a property right”; this was testified before Congress the day before the article appeared.
Property assignment began with the name you are known by. There is nothing written in the law to guard your identity otherwise. The arbitrary set of information is used to identify one individual from another is known as identity. Our current system is set up so that you need to utilize your identity for the very depiction of yourself to others.
Property and its ownership is the basis of the framework of the Constitution. It was the general belief that delegation of powers under the Constitution protected individual property and the rights of individuals. The concept of contracts has its basis around property. Property rights are paramount within society. The arguments within our nation and its policies are made balancing the rights of individuals and property. The founding fathers considered the right of property as a basic human right.
James Madison was one of the signers of the Constitution. He first was a member of the House of Representatives and in later life our fourth United States President. While he was in a House member, he wrote the first ten amendments to the Constitution to form the Bill Of Rights. He did this because of tension between the federalists and the anti-federalists who held that a Bill Of Rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty. The Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a Bill Of Rights because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. He wrote this passage in Federalist paper 62 when speaking of the formation of the senate:
The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?
Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the few, not for the many.
In another point of view, great injury results from an unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.
It is obvious by this passage that President Madison did not anticipate the cultivation of society, being the product by which the government had allowed to be harvested. It is equally as obvious that the power of corporations was not thought as a competition to governmental power.
Your name along with other information is how you identify yourself from others. At birth, the entry of your existence within the borders of the United States dictates a set of rules upon you. Once our parents assign us a name we are sent wielding into the informational abyss. Once we apply for a Social Security Number our government holds free range of our identity. The keys to your legal identity are then established: your name, date of birth and Social Security number.
The illusion made from framework of our very legal system is broken. It is defies simple logic that individuals can create lawsuits, own property and enter into contracts and what they are called by as individuals, or the description of them is not upheld as their own legal property.
Through the duration of time, our individualistic role in society created an informational exchange based on a “fee for goods” society. As individuals, we have become the commodity, and there are high financial stakes. We have inherently become victim to an informational era where data is created from our own homes.
If you have ever become a victim of identity theft and tried to get your valuable documents back that were designed to prove your existence, you then fall prey to being a victim of big government as well. For the first time, you realize you no longer have ownership of your own identity, and you need to be the bearer of proof. (You will understand that your very existence is within the system of paper and data is meant without merit allocated towards yourself.) No matter who knows or cares about you, you are left alone in the virtual data desert.
Once your social security number is compromised, you are stuck with it and the circumstances surrounding it can last a lifetime. As a member of society, you as an individual become indebted to a system that holds the number assigned to you as your personal debt regardless of who created it. There is a general assumption that the very government that assigned our number will provide a sort of protection of the very number (social security number) should be secured and protected. It was commonplace in a number of states to use that number in many ways including voting registration. It is assigned at birth, and there is no changing it regardless of how it has been compromised. The millions who have fallen prey to identity theft know this all too well.
Hopefully, you never have to attempt to change your number with the always friendly and overly bureaucratic Social Security Administration Office. You will find out how easy getting a new number is after waiting for hours to get denied. There is not a real fix for identity theft within society or the system that collects our information. Those that collect information don’t differentiate between thieves on your account or your actions. Very simply put they don’t care about you; it’s your actions they are after.
We unknowingly became a functional commodity of the proverbial machine. Multibillion-dollar industries have sold our data. It erodes our practical perception of our beings leaking into our thoughts and dreams. It turns us all into a monetary stream, hidden by the guise of a nonexistent definition of public information.
In an age where an individual’s actions were cataloged and traded as a profitable exercise, is it not damaging to the individual to not be compensated for their very labor they provide by existing and being active in that very same system?
It is an insidious idea that individuals have the right to own property but their name is not a form of it. Many would think incorrectly of legal fiction that governs corporations or Intangible property of copyrights or trademarks. Tangible personal property refers to property, except land or buildings that can be seen, weighed, measured, felt, touched, or otherwise perceived by the senses. Individual’s names should be considered as tangible personal property as well.
The United Nations lists a basic human right. You have the right to own things, and nobody has the right to take these from you without a good reason. It should also be noted that the protection of intellectual property also falls within international human rights law.
The concept of your name as your property is not difficult to grasp in government either. Most of us have visited a public park. The very idea of someone harvesting he lawn of a parks and selling sod is the same craziness that we as individuals experience with our data and the government.
You do own your name it is your property. If we can convince congress to change it to law the impact would be large. It would take away the careless attitude about storing other person’s property. I have heard many times that companies do not care about security simple because they know that no civil action would take place if they lost another’s property. Imagine how many sites that have lost personal information would react. If those that lost data had the worry that each person’s life that have been potentially devastated. It would allow those that are affected to have a form of recourse. It would also begin the process of limiting the amount of information exposed.
The responsibility for safeguarding information exists with each and every company that holds our collective information. The loss of information that surrounds the news reports is evidence that companies do not care about your information that they lose. The threat of fines by the government or civil litigation seem to be the only moral limits that many companies use to guide their actions.
It would be the very reason that both political parties would not embrace this idea. Both receive large contributions from these very companies. The politicians also embrace using the information for their election campaigns.
Those that gather information without permission could have civil remedies emplaced for stealing. Many in the merchant card services industry do that now. Outside of the applications installed on smart phones and computer browsing tracking the merchant card services collect and sell our location and buying habits. A merchant card service is the institution that accepts credit cards for the merchant that you buy thing from.
In the data world, there are a number of things about you that describe you and these things are called the keys to your identity. There is a distinction that should be made; that is, in data world there are a total of two other entity types that you interact with, the government and others. Your information, the stuff about you, belongs to you. You as a member of society share the use of your information with the government. All others have no right to your property unless you allow them to use your information. Many privacy and confidentiality agreements state openly that they share information. Sharing information is not the same meaning as selling information. Many of the companies that exist with loyalty card programs market identifiable information to a wide array of manufactures of products. The information is sold under the guise of market intelligence. Our agreement with the merchant in most cases has been breached. Some merchants are finding that selling product with zero profit actually is more lucrative. Because they collect the information from the buyer of the product and can resell that information over and over. Our data is being captured. In the data world, today there are many systems that have no right to use your informational property.
There are data quarries that capture your identity and are housed in data warehousing systems which are for public and private auction. Information surrounding your name is cherry picked. The majority of the information in reality is technically stolen. There are other pieces of information that are used to identify you or single you out from other individuals. There are other identifiers such as your mailing address, email account, or cell phone number that are used by a wide array of systems that marks or flags your identity.
The government holds proprietary ownership of your social security number, and it allocated the address which you reside. Your birth certificate states your name and date of birth and is the title to your name. Any and all other information acted by you is your own information, it does not own to anyone else.
In the world of data, this is not a question of whose information you have. Those that sell our information should be on notice, we the people, are not for sale.