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Hollings Introduces Privacy Bill

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the private-is-as-private-does dept.

United States 296

Dynedain writes "Senator Disney (aka Hollings) is apparently trying to get on techies' good side. ZDnet is reporting he is proposing a bill for 'net privacy' requiring opt-in agreements when companies want to sell 'sensitive' information (medical history, sexual preference, etc.) and opt-out agreements when selling non-sensitive (buying habits). US Chamber of Commerce is opposing this." Another article on Newsbytes notes that there are likely to be several privacy bills floating around, offering different levels of actual protection.

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hello gentlemen (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373912)

you know the rest.

Re:hello gentlemen (-1)

Rock 'N' Troll (566273) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373965)

No. Please explain!

Re:hello gentlemen (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373992)

What a story !

Uncommon Compassion

A few weeks ago, I was rushing around trying to get
some Valentine's Day shopping done. I was stressed
out and not thinking very fondly of the weather right
then. It was dark, cold, and wet in the parking lot
as I was loading my car. I noticed that I was missing
a receipt that I might need later. So mumbling under
my breath, I retraced my steps to the mall entrance.
As I was searching the wet pavement for the lost
receipt, I heard a quiet sobbing.

The crying was coming from a poorly dressed boy of
about 12 years old. He was short and thin. He had no
coat. He was just wearing a ragged flannel shirt to
protect him from the cold night's chill.

Oddly enough, he was holding a hundred dollar bill in
his hand. Thinking that he had gotten lost from his
parents, I asked him what was wrong. He told me his
sad story. He said that he came from a large family.
He had three brothers and four sisters. His father had died
when he was nine years old. His Mother was poorly
educated and worked two full time jobs. She made very
little to support her large family. Nevertheless, she
had managed to skimp and save two hundred dollars to
buy her children some Valentine's Day presents (since
she didn't manage to get them anything on Christmas).

The young boy had been dropped off, by his mother, on
the way to her second job. He was to use the money to
buy presents for all his siblings and save just enough
to take the bus home. He had not even entered the
mall, when an older boy grabbed one of the hundred
dollar bills and disappeared into the night. "Why didn't you
scream for help?" I asked.

The boy said, "I did."

"And nobody came to help you?" I queried.

The boy stared at the sidewalk and sadly shook his head.

"How loud did you scream?" I inquired.

The soft-spoken boy looked up and meekly whispered, "Help me!"

I realized that absolutely no one could have heard
that poor boy cry for help.

So...I grabbed his other hundred and ran to my car.

Kenneth Lay, CEO
Enron Corporation

Troll hall of fame (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374057)

Dear sir,

You are hereby inducted into the /. troll hall of fame. Please sign in at the desk.

Re:hello gentlemen (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373998)

Froszt Pist?!

Frisina Introduces Calculus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373914)

Katy Sosnak, I love you!

"Online Privacy" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373915)

Sounds good to me.

I would glady trade my privelege of "online privacy" (whatever that means) in order to live safely in a world free of terror.

What makes you think that you have some inherent right to "online privacy" or "online freedom"? I don't see that in the bill of rights or the constitution itself, do you?

We are living in a new era. Get used to it or go somewhere else⦠Delta is ready when you are.

Re:"Online Privacy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373999)

What makes you think that you have some inherent right to "online privacy" or "online freedom"? I don't see that in the bill of rights or the constitution itself, do you?

That's because you can't fucking read. The Constitution is a document that gives powers to government. If the power isn't listed, then the government doesn't have it. No where is the power to infringe upon "online privacy" listed. Therefore the government does not have that power.

The founders figured there would be dumbasses like you sooner or later, which is why the anti-federalists demanded that the 9th and 10th amendments be included. Unfortunately, even their great wisdom could not predict the depths of idiocy into which you and your kind have sunk, where simple phrases like "shall not be infringed" and "reserved to the states, or respectively the people" are beyond your comprehension.

but (2)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374086)

I agree, except....


If a private individual or corporation resorts to the courts, then it becomes a government action.

Re:"Online Privacy" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374088)

Heh, that wasa pretty good troll...you should've logged in first.

You deserve neither. (1, Redundant)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374100)

You deserve neither!

I claim it (-1, Offtopic)

FunkSoulBrother (140893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373916)

This post is mine! Logged in! Boo Yah!

Re:I claim it (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374014)

Good. Now go put your head in a hole for a while, and get some sleep!

First post, baby!!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373918)

OK, maybe not. But 5th isn't bad..

First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

gonx (562012) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373921)

first post maybe? I wanted to do this once in my lifetime.

Re:First Post? (1)

forged (206127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373976)

heh. you could get married once in a lifetime, but for running after FP, you must be a flaming geek [detonate.net] :D

misread (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373924)

it was on slashdot so I though it was an anal PIRACY bill - my mistake. Also, well done on the fp. Several dirty ACs have slipped in today.

The Turd Report 04/19/2002 (-1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373927)

I had a Subway Turkey Club last night, a 12 incher. This morning. I had a 9 inch turd that was as big around as a beer can. It was a bitch to get out, as it was mamoth in diameter. It was like a rock and black as coal. It didn't smell at all. Clean up was very easy but it took two flushes to get it down. I rate this turd as an 8.

In several newspaper op-ed columns (4, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373928)

I've seen him referred to as "Senator Hollings (D-Disney)".

Links? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373940)

would be appreciated.

Re:Links? (1)

tuanjim_2001 (534921) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373987)

ok [google.com] links [google.com] Thank you Google!

Re:In several newspaper op-ed columns (2)

toupsie (88295) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374033)

Just like Senator McCain who is refered to as Senator John McCain (R-Media).

Sorry, DMA (1)

Dead Penis Bird (524912) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373943)

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said it continues to support industry self-regulation on privacy.

As much as I dislike legislation over industry participation, I'd have to agree with this type of legislation. The DMA has done far too little for too long to keep going with "industry regulation".

Sorry, DMA, you've run out of chances.

Great... (5, Insightful)

Deluge (94014) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373944)

Now /. has another guy to have a love/hate relationship with.

Anyways, he's not trying very hard. All information that could be shared should be opt-out. Sharing very private information, like medical histories, is already well protected, and people's tendency to not notice opt-out options for buying habits and such will do nothing to stem the flow of spam and junk mail. Oh well.

Dammit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373978)

That's what I get for posting half asleep. That should, of course, be "all information that could be shared should be opt-in.

Ugh.

Love/Hate? Nawww (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374077)

the SSSCA/Cable-thingy-whatever-confusing-name bill is to damn evil to ever get me on his good side. I don't care if he proposes a give $1 million to everyone bill...I will still hate him(though I would like the money :-) )

Re:Great... (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374093)

this is true... his bill would do nothing other than put intop concrete a systrem in which opt-out is the requirment... dont be so foolish slashdot... this is EXACTLY why we dont like this guy... you already have to opt in for personal info... please think hard about everything touted to "improve privacy"

Re:Great... (5, Insightful)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374165)

As someone else said: This legislation does very little other than place in stone what the DMA is already doing. Not many people have the sensitive information that he's requiring the opt-in for, anyways (it's the nature of 'sensitive' information). In any case it doesn't matter.

They can't tell me your sexual preference or your medical history, but they can tell me that:

  • You are male,
  • You visit 'beefcake' porn sites a lot
  • you buy AZT on the 'net because it's cheaper.
I can figure out the rest from there.

Nope. Just hate-hate. (5, Insightful)

bricriu (184334) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374171)

How is this a good bill? On the plus side, yeah, we have to give someone permisssion to sell our "critical" data. But who's to say that won't be buried in an EULA?

And as Yahoo! has recently proved, automatically opting people in to recieve spam (since that's what the 2nd part of this legislations basically proposes, after all... they sell your info, you get spam) and making them opt-out leads to people getting bent out of shape. Why should companies get the right to ASSUME that I want to recieve spam from whoever they feel like hawking my info to?

A privacy law with teeth would have opt-ins across the board, and a clause saying that each opt-in must be clearly labelled as such, with no "bundling" of opt-ins implicit in any other action.

A stopped clock is right twice a day... (3, Interesting)

Dimensio (311070) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373956)

...unless it gives 24-hour time. Or if it also displays the date. Or if someone keep screwing with it and all.

In any case, I wonder what his motivation is for this proposed bill. Is Disney interested in protecting their own digital privacy? Perhaps he's planning on expanding the bill to include much of the implications of the CBPTDA or whatever it was called...perhaps Disney thinks that such a law could warrant "mandated privacy devices" that would have the same effect.

After his last proposal, I cannot trust Hollings no matter what he offers.

What Disney wants... (5, Funny)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374006)

Nope, Eisner is sweating bullets that someone will access Walt's medical data and find out that he was scheduled for revival in 2001, but that some one named M. Eisner MD, delayed the procedure till a date (in true MD handwriting) that looks suspiciously like "hell freezes over"

Disney was burned not frozen (4, Informative)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374063)

Eisner is sweating bullets that someone will access Walt's medical data and find out that he was scheduled for revival in 2001

Myth Busters! Walter Elias Disney wasn't frozen [snopes.com] but instead cremated two days after he died.

Re:Disney was burned not frozen (1)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374079)

Shh... Don't tell Eisner:-)

Random question (0)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374167)

Why does Eisner have such a similar name to Disney anyway? It's only two tyops away.

Is this like those really dodgy vampire movies where we find out that "Mr. Alucard" is actually Dracula under a pseudonym?

Re:A stopped clock is right twice a day... (2)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374039)

Probably they are trying to get what they can and run. Opt-out for all the contact info (read: the valuable stuff) is still pretty great for companies, and crappy for people.

The way things are looking, and the way people think, it's looking more and more like something that is Opt-in for everything could pass. This would be "bad" for Hollings' 'constituants'...

Even a stopped clock.. (1)

Liora (565268) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374138)

...gives the right time twice a day

I actually have a hunch about this. I made a comment about the Disney backed bill earlier and someone replied that it probably was less our lobbying than Intel's money behind the policy-makers. I don't know if I agree, but it is certainly worthy of ponderance. Given that, I cannot help but wonder if he had previously received campaign moulah from a tech company (not saying Intel, but someone like Intel) that got really peeved with him and thus quit supporting him.

Is there some soft-money involved here? It would be great if I could just say he just wants our votes and is trying to make friends, but he should know better really after his previous attitude. He should realize he can't get our trust back. Of course, maybe the voters of South Carolina are more likely to forgive and forget than I am.

Re:A stopped clock is right twice a day... (4, Interesting)

VAXman (96870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374145)

What's the difference between the two bills? The first proposes massive government regulation and controls on makers of technology in order to enforce copyright protection. The second nill also proposes massive government regulation and controls on makers of technology in order to force privacy.

Why should the government support massive regulation dictating how companies build internet products, all in the name of protecting piracy? That's just as patently riduclous as forcing hardware makers to include copyright controls on their products.

The government should keep its hands out of technology, period.

Re:A stopped clock is right twice a day... (1)

yasth (203461) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374220)

Neither this bill nor the broadband bill are all bad or all good. The broadband bill has protectections for fair use, open software, etc. And this privacy bill gives some rgiths, and takes some rights. Basically both bills are codifications that give a bit more than what an unregulated marketplace might give, but don't give, what a lot of people on slashdot(myself included), enough rights , and protectoins for what is being given up. On the one hand if no legistation is passed, we will lose rights (CSS sure didn't allow for fair use) on the other hand there is a posibility of getting better legistation passed. I guess a person's support depends on whether they think they can get a better bill passed.

Its the classic 'common sense' issue (2, Insightful)

rednuhter (516649) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373958)

The idea that the opt-in is for 'sensitive' information and opt-out for 'non-sensitive' information should apeal to most people.
The problem lies in what is 'sensitive' information and 'non-sensitive' information.
It can vary wildly based on context and how the data is processed (the old, unique Id is the only directly identifing feature but link it to too many data references and you have the complete individual).
If you think about it, the proposal can never be policed.

Re:Its the classic 'common sense' issue (1)

Lish (95509) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374123)

Exactly. On the surface, this seems good. But who's going to define what's sensitive and what's not? The law can't possibly spell out every possible piece of information a company could be tracking. And who on earth is going to implement and enforce this convoluted system?

Well Even markiting information should be opt in (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373959)

I dont see why your buyers habbits should have to opt opt. They should opt in as well. I buy something online They should ask me if I want my information spread to other companies or not. and Not just send the information and have me ask them to stop. By that time I realize I am on the list my Data would be spread to hundreds of sources and I have to opt out of each one.

Re:Well Even markiting information should be opt i (5, Insightful)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374019)

This got me thinking that when you go into a store, in the very least, employees and gauge the demographics they are catering to, and adjust the way the store operates accordingly.

You have to admit, much of the information they want when you buy (where ya from, how old are you) is 'casually' available in physical stores. Online retailers have no such luxery of asking their sales force (cause there is none) who's buying, so I really dont think it's asking to much for the companies to want the provision of that kind of information to be standard procedure when buying online.

The physical retailers can provide this information based on sales data, the retailers physical location, and by virtue of the sales force being physically located where the buyer is. Virtual retailers arn't asking for anything new, other than potentially the granularity (IE, you live in this zipcode instead of you shop in this zipcode.)

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said it continues to support industry self-regulation on privacy.

I support segreating 'opt-in', 'opt-out' not by what information is collected, but by what you are allowed to do with that information. 'opt-out' collection should allow retailers to do internal aggregated sales analytics, while you MUST provide 'opt-in' collection when you wish to use that information to proactively contact the customer.

Enforcement agency? (1)

Farmer Jimbo (515393) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373964)

So let me get this straight, the enforcement agency would be the FTC? They're under staffed and over lobbied as it is. I predict preferential treatment and spotty enforcement. Tha't's assuming that there would be any enforcement at all of course.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said it continues to support industry self-regulation on privacy.

Well what a f**king suprise that is!

History Repeats itself (5, Informative)

plemeljr (250971) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373966)

"I fear the Greeks, even when bringing gifts"
-Virgil (70-19 BC)

5 right fucking on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374113)

n/t

I like this .. (1, Redundant)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373968)

> The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) said it continues to support industry self-regulation on privacy.

I get the feeling they've already mailed out 50,000,000 emails and 40,000,000 smail mail flyers to convince the public of this.

Bravo! (0)

xamel (567605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373970)

Bravo! Finally, a government official who DOESN'T want all our information to be completely public...hopefully, this one won't support the "Passport/National ID" thing that has been getting some attention lately...

Re:Bravo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374172)

dont bravo Hollings... he is a corrupt evil little old man.. If the devil gave you 10,000 dollars would you say "Ohhh goodie mr. devil thanks for the money..."

there's always a catch with this man... and i'm betting he has some twisted evil riding on this temptation.

Worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373971)

Hollings seems like a pretty smart guy, he knows where the money is. I bet he knows that privacy is at best an illusion and at worst non-existant. This is just a play to get people off his back.

Say what? (2)

FurryFeet (562847) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373973)

From the article:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, disagreed. The organization opposes Hollings' proposal, saying it would hinder online commerce and would open a plethora of class-action lawsuits.
"This proposal is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem," Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the organization, said in a statement.


Someone please spam this guy.

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374090)

What makes you think he has an email address to spam? ;)

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374212)

his email address is joudanx@yahoo.com

Is /. going to bash him for this too? (3, Insightful)

Argyle (25623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373985)

Is the /. crowd in favor of privacy legislation or do we take a Libertarian viewpoint on this as well and call privacy legistlation an affront to free speech?

Viddy well my droogs, you don't want to be hypocritical here.

Privacy bills like this will have a huge impact on the consumer's protection, but also have a huge cost to growing internet companies.

Re:Is /. going to bash him for this too? (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374111)

no, I like privacy, but I will not support his bill. He is a tainted piggy when it comes to technology issues AFAIAC.

I will support another senators bil however.

But what else is in the bill? (1)

3.141592653589793238 (574859) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374119)

Without being able to find the text of the bill and read through it a couple of times, I'm concerned that there's more hidden in there than the news stories would indicate. Without some insight into how the bill would work, how he's proposing enforcement and implementation methods and oversight, what's to keep it from becoming just one more Christmas tree bill with access control features tagged on for good measure?

Re:Is /. going to bash him for this too? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374201)

sorry but your FUD that this will have a HUGE cost to new and growing internet companies is a pure and un-adulterated lie.

It costs nothing to put a checkbox asking if "can I sell your information to every whoremonger I find?" or asking costs NOTHING.. I dont care what the marketing,financial,or Operations people you talk to say.. it costs Zero dollars and Zero cents to impliment a Opt-in system... Just ask the guys that write the code.

Hollings should realize.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3373990)

..it's possible to be on both the bad and good sides of an individual, group, community, etc.

As Hollings said ... (3, Insightful)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373991)

"Privacy fears are stifling the development and expansion of the Internet as an engine of economic growth," Hollings, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

Replace the Privacy with Piracy, and you get the former CPDBODJTO (you know what I mean). Hey, at least a lot of his sound bites are already written.

When this bill actually comes out, we'll have to make sure there are NO RIDERS on it. This would be a perfect opportunity to do so, since this proposed legislation has a chance to pass.

This is good, sort of (3, Interesting)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3373994)


I must say that I'm impressed that Senator Hollings would propose this bill, but I believe he is accurate when he says "Privacy fears are stifling the development and expansion of the Internet as an engine of economic growth."

My concern with this bill is who will actually enforce it if it becomes law? It's nice to have theoretical privacy, but will it really work in practice? And if it turns out to be enforceable, what stops the disreputable businesses from relocating outside of the US?

sounds good to me (1)

delphin42 (556929) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374004)

What problems does the dept. of commerce see with this bill? It would be nice to have uniform standards, similar to how credit card info is protected by law.

Mehul Patel lives! (-1)

flaw1 (572429) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374009)

Barren Realms fo' life, yo!

Don't hold a grudge!!! (5, Insightful)

lkaos (187507) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374012)

Listen, if Hollings is sponsering this bill because he wants to "make-up" with the tech-community, then the worst thing the tech-community can do is continue to boycott him.

Make the message clear, that the community will support good bill but go ape-shit crazy on bad ones. If he gets a bad reaction still, he's just going to write off the tech community as a special interest group that he has no chance of winning over. In that case, he'll say screw you to all of us and just go on taking blood money from disney.

Don't make it personal, it's simply politics. We just have to play the game.

Re:Don't hold a grudge!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374030)

mod it up!!

mod it up!!

mod it up!!

mod it up!!

Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.

Re:Don't hold a grudge!!! (1)

silicon_synapse (145470) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374146)

You make the assumption though that this is a good bill. I'm leary of any new legislation, especially from the likes of him. I'd recommend we get more details about this bill before making a decision one way or the other. OK, I admit I didn't read the article.

Do hold a grudge!!! (4, Interesting)

Evro (18923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374162)

Then when he gets all the techies to support this bill, he'll attach the SSSCA/CDBITPA as a rider. Then what? Gonna do a 180?

I find it suspicious that after such a pro-corporation bill, he's proposing a pro-consumer one. Either he has a bizarre set of values or he's trying to gain favor for some reason. Either way, I think his past track record should speak for itself. There are other privacy bills; perhaps Mr. Rick Boucher will propose one that's worthy. He seems to be the only congressperson with any sense of technology/privacy issues at all.

Re:Don't hold a grudge!!! (1)

cavemanf16 (303184) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374170)

Does anyone remember anymore that although we live in a more and more decentralized nation, and 'community' is beginning to no longer be defined geographically, but ideologically; that our government still is voted into office via geographical means? Senator Hollings really could care less if Billy Buttcheese, techno-geek from Alaska, opposes his bills or not. All he's worried about is how much money can he get for his re-election campaigns, and are his constituents in his state happy with his performance, at least enough to get him re-elected. You guys and gals in other states aren't going to get this guy booted our of office. Only if you inform his constituents about what a bad job he is doing for our country, will you get him out of political office and off the techie hitlist of most hated political officials.

You geeks can hate him all you want, but it won't change a thing until you can get his voting constituents hating him too.

Re:Don't hold a grudge!!! (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374222)

dumb ass, WE have representatives to, and guess what.....some of them are influential and actualy listen to the concerns of their people. we get influence by building ground swell so that our reps can not support his efforts.

Buying habits aren't sensitive? (4, Insightful)

Uruk (4907) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374013)

and opt-out agreements when selling non-sensitive (buying habits

Since when are buying habits not sensitive? What if you're buying cream at the pharmacy for your genital warts? What if you're buying a particular product for your spouse, or for a friend? What if you're ordering porno over the net? (They don't ship it in brown paper covers to your house because nobody cares whether anyone else sees it or not) What if you're buying a drug for a medical condition that you'd rather nobody knew about? Sure, Mr. Jones, we don't have access to your medical records, but we see you've been buying AZT, and various magazines and books written by people infected with HIV as support tools. Hmmm.....

Sexual preference, medical history, and lots of other things are tied to what you buy. I don't see how they can say that buying habits aren't sensitive.

Non-sensitive privacy? (5, Insightful)

irony nazi (197301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374015)

Hmmm. Let's see if the irony nazi can understand this...

Sensitive private characteristics:
Sexual Preference: Heterosexual
Medical History: Pretty healthy, alcoholism runs in family.
Crinimal record: One speeding ticket, not much else.

Yeah, those are pretty private

Non-sensitive private information:
Buying habits: Alcohol, Straight Pr0n, exercise stuff & vitamins, no medicine
Web browsing habits: /., weightlifting websites, finance, and geeky websites. straight pr0n.

Whoa. My non-sensitive information is extremely suggestive of my sensitive information, wouldn't you think? What gives? Is it more complicated to make all privacy information opt-in? It seems like it would be less complicated to the irony nazi.

Re:Non-sensitive privacy? (1)

morgajel (568462) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374153)

that's why I fill out my info so the companies who do put it together get:

Sensitive private characteristics:
Sexual Preference: beastiality, necrophelia
Medical History: sheds whole nails every 6 weeks, gastrointestinal inflamation
Crinimal record: indecent exposure(old folks home), defecation on public highway, urination from tall buildings(3 counts)

Yeah, those are pretty private

Non-sensitive private information:
Buying habits: yani CD's, thighmasters, books on .NET
Web browsing habits: /., any pr0n, vegatablemating.com

granted this is NOT what I'm like, but if they ask, I'm more than obliged to tell them this sorta stuff.
like when the jahova's wittnesses knock on my door, and ask me if I have found jesus yet, and I tell them "yeah I locked him in the basment last week." they usually go away then.
hollings is trying to win you over. don't fall for it. I'm half tempted to move to his district just to vote against him.

Re:Non-sensitive privacy? (1)

Jburkholder (28127) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374219)

>ask me if I have found jesus yet

my fav:

"Oh, I didn't know he was lost! Hmm, last time I saw him he was nailed to that cross-thing. If I see him I'll let someone know."

My mother-in-law said she uses that one. She says they pretty much just walk away without saying a word.

Record Mass Of Hot Air Over DC This Week (2, Interesting)

robbway (200983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374024)

Could there be a connection?

I want EVERYTHING Opt-In (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374026)

I'm totally fed up with the attitude that my personal time and space can be invaded until I say no.

Use the anology my mother often did, if I had to tell [everyone in China] not to bug me, I'd spent more than a lifetime doing so. Ergo, the time of my life isn't worth squat to the people who'd waste it, but they'll be happy to tell me how much they value me as a customer, yada yada yada.

If [everyone in China] had to wait until I said "ok" to each of them, I'm allowed to pick and choose, and if I do opt-in, they should value me much more as a potential customer rather than just wossname somewhere on the list. Granted this is US law and has nothing to do with China, but there's enough people pestering me already that it's a problem.

BTW, just got some auto-downloading email-spam yesterday, two of them. So now you don't even have to visit websites to get that sort of invasion.

Intrusion with either Privacy or DRM (2, Interesting)

wa1hco (37574) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374027)

This law injects the government into internet technology through detailed definitions of privacy, sensitive vs non sensitive, etc. much like the DMCA (whatever it's called now) injects government into internet technology and definition of digital rights. Once the government gets into the habit of regulating, it won't stop. You might like government mandated privacy, now. But what happens when government changes the definition of "sensitive information", probably due to lobbying pressure.

Both these laws create a power axis between congress and lobbyists that leaves out the people in general and technologists in particular. Oppose all these laws.

Confusion, or rider? (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374040)

10 LET Di$ = "Walt Dis"

Sen. Hollings (D-Di$ney) writes a bill called SSSCA. Technology industry hates it. EFF sounds an alert.

Hollings clarifies SSSCA, renames it CBDTPA, and introduces it in committee. It explicitly prohibits interference with fair use. But the technology industry still hates it. EFF sounds an alert. Some Slashdot readers claim that Hollings renamed it to cause confusion. They begin to refer to Hollings's policeware bills as "The Hollings Bill".

Hollings introduces a new bill that Slashdot readers may like better. EFF likes it. But now the term "Hollings Bill" has become ambiguous, making it harder to talk about future versions of what is now called the CBDTPA.

Or is this new bill part of the CBDTPA family? As Dimensio suggested [slashdot.org] , does Hollings intend to add the CBDTPA as a rider to this bill?

Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374043)

Slashdotter:
"Face it, the days of copyright are numbered. Information wants to be free!"
"We need really strong privacy protection, because I wouldn't want to live in a world that didn't have it."

Big corporation:
"Face it, the days of privacy are numbered. Information wants to be free!"
"We need really strong copyright protection, because I wouldn't want to live in a world that didn't have it."

So, what's the difference?

Re:Hmm... (1)

3.141592653589793238 (574859) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374190)

/.'er seeks open access to information that can benefit the public, while protecting the public from those who would exploit personal information for monetary gain. Before you say copyright protects money for artists, it doesn't. The only businesses that are protected by copyright are the distribution companies.
FMI read "The Creative Destruction of Copyright: Napster and the New Economics of Digital Technology" by Associate Prof. of Law, Raymond Shih Ray Ku. available at Lexis-Nexis

BC seeks to gain money from the creation of artists, see above article, and use personal information that can potentially harm individuals to squeeze even more money out of them. I think the difference is rather obvious.

This is how it works (2, Insightful)

Mahrin Skel (543633) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374046)

You have a bill you can't get considered by a certain committee, because the chairman is blocking it. You find some related issue that the chairman *won't* block. You introduce a bill for that issue. Later, as the author of the original bill, you may be able to have most or all of the original (blocked) bill added to the bill as an amendment.

--Dave Rickey

In Whose Hands? (4, Insightful)

White Roses (211207) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374047)

It seems to me, more and more, that privacy must be taken, and not granted. So our government wants to protect our privacy? And yet they've foisted Carnivore on us? Well, there's some more of my tax dollars cancelling each other out.

It all comes down to whom do you trust with your private information, and what information you yourself deem to be private.

Individuals are going to have to decide this for themselves. Trusting the government or advertising drones or Microsoft to keep your information private implies rather a lot of trust. Have you met these people? Told them about that time in 4th grade where you experimented with the chronic? Who knows stuff like that? Your closest companions at best.

Privacy must be individually taken, kept and defended. It's not a gift to be handed down from on high. Each person must learn to defend their privacy on their own, and determine just what they consider private.

Hate spam? Find a way to fight it, and keep your e-mail to yourself (or at worst, make up a free one). Don't believe the registration cards. Use a fake name on your phone number, or keep it unlisted. Give no one your SSN unless they can provide proof of needing it. Make sure you know what constitutes real proof. Never say hello twice when answering your phone. Turn off cookies. Set up trusted host lists.

It's hard, yes. Joe Public won't know how to do it. OTOH, Joe Public may not care, or may not spend 10 hours a day cruising the net, or may never buy anything from anyone online.

Know the risks, take pains to minimize them, and stay vigilant. It's the only real way to keep your privacy.

The Simple Solution (1)

virtigex (323685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374059)

Obviously he should mandate that the companies record all your personal information onto media files. Then they wouldn't be able to share it with their friends. Problem solved!

RE: Hollings Introduces Privacy Bill (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374066)

heart pills: $50

insulin: $25

viagra: $60

two ended dildo: $45

slippery jim's anal lube: $6

requiring opt-out to share your buying habits and opt-in for your medical history and/or sexual preferences: priceless.

At least they're honest ... (1)

ProfMoriarty (518631) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374067)

From the Newsbytes article ...

"Between the two, it looks like we're going to play a game of privacy chicken," he said. "It certainly seems like the privacy debate is shaping up as an election issue, but hopefully cooler heads will recognize that there is not going to be enough time this year to write a good, effective law."

And everyone says that politicians aren't honest ...

smart move on his part (2)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374075)

He's already pissed the hell out of the tech community. Now he's pissing the hell out of just about any company that does business online. lol.

I hope he gets himself lynched (in an electoral sense).

Of course this is next (3, Interesting)

ip_vjl (410654) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374076)

Wondering why Hollings would support this?

Think about it. Having valid concerns about privacy is one of the things that still gives the consumer ammunition in the argument for keeping anonymity on the web.

If you can break down the arguments for anonymity, you can slowly start to introduce laws that may eventually eliminate the ability to transact anonymously over the web.

If everything you do is traceable back to you ... how much easier is it to enforce anti-piracy legislation.

This is just more business-protective legislation (2)

rhizome (115711) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374083)


Note that this bill only deals with specific instances of information usage. The business world is noticing a backlash against dot-con marketing techniques and needs some kind of legislation to keep them safe from a wholesale opt-in system (or other customer-dominant scheme). By building fences around areas where business people will be able to do whatever they want *by law*, Hollings is proposing that there be areas from which we can never regain personal privacy. You know how Congress works: you can't move that fence afterwards, and anything that isn't fenced is subject to usage-by-loophole.

If people are truly concerned with privacy, there needs to be a bill that draws a line between personal and impersonal information. This way, everybody knows how and which of their activities are subject to commercial exploitation, regardless of whether the information is gleaned from a web activity, a store activity, signing a petition, registering a domain, etc. This bill just says that some small subset of information retrieved from *net* activities is off-limits. Big whoop.

The prevailing attitude is that businesses can do practically whatever they want in the pursuit of profits, and this bill does nothing to rein them in. It just gives them official license.

Sorry Senator Disney (2, Interesting)

PoiBoy (525770) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374084)

There are many different internet privacy bills floating around Washington. Therefore, I see no reason to support Hollings' bill.

Given his well-known legislative agenda "protecting" large media companies, can any of us really trust him. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some hidden agenda in his bill that will further help Disney et. al.

Limiting growth of the Internet? (3, Funny)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374091)

From the article...

"Privacy fears are stifling the development and expansion of the Internet as an engine of economic growth," Hollings, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

Gee... I thought it was lack of strong encryption on every single digital device known to man or beast that was stifling the development and expansion of the Internet?

My Privacy Desires (4, Insightful)

Trekologer (86619) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374096)

I agree with the spirit of Hollings' proposed bill (and it pains me to say that). However, my "ideal" online privacy law would be:

1. Companies are forbidden to share/sell/reveal, intentionally or not, any information that a consumer gives to the company or authorizes the company to obtain unless expressly authorized by the consumer. So, anything that you give the company can not be shared with anyone else unless you give them permission to do so.

2. Companies are forbidden to share/sell/reveal, intentionally or not, any information created through consumers' transactions with the company that can be associated with a partifular consumer unless expressly authorized by the consumer. In other words, Company X can tell a marketing company that Y consumers purchased Product Z. They can NOT say that Consumer A purchased Product Z unless Consumer A authorizes it. If the company creates the data, they can use it, but can only associate the data with particular consumers with permission.

3. Any permission given for a company to use your data must be an informed decision. The company must provide to the consumer who they will share the data with (specific comapnies), what data will be shared, what the receiving company will do with the data, and what the company will get for sharing the data. This information must be provided to the consumer before she agrees to give permission, not something that can get received "on request" later after agreeing.

4. Companies that violate these three premises will be fined by the government and there will be a procedure set in place for consumers to collect damages.

Hopefully, this would prevent companies from playing fast and loose with your information and force them to make sure that their systems are secure (note the "intentionally or not" would cause the company to violate this "law" if some third party, such as a cracker, gets the data).

Self-regulation doesn't work. There will always be someone who will violate the "regulations" that the industry comes up with. The only solution is a legislative solution.

I'm Psychic (5, Interesting)

4of12 (97621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374115)


Holling's move makes more sense than you realize.

I commented several months ago about this but couldn't find it using the search engine, so I'll just repeat, roughly, what I said earlier.

Privacy advocates and advocates of Content Use Restriction (DRM) have a shared goal.

You, the liberty loving individual, don't want big bad governments and corporations using data about you without your permission. You want control over that data.

Purveyors of digitized content don't want tiny bad people "pirates" using their data without their permission. They want control over that data.

A rock-solid data tagging and protection system, (you know, the impractical kind) would provide a means to meet not only the needs of individuals seeking ownership and protection of their own data from duplication, but would simultaneously provide similar technology to media distributors seeking ownershop and protection of their data from duplication.

When I first realized this I was kind of taken aback, because, like many here, I've always place a higher value on the protection of my data than on the protection of someone else's data. That same disconnect will continue to confuse many advocates on both sides of the issue.

My own view is pragmatic: if it were easily possible to protect data this way, fine. But it's not. Once it's out there, it's beyond your control, just as for millenia, your spoken and written words have been able to disseminate beyond your control.

single-issue votes (1)

fhknack (104003) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374132)

This makes single-issue voting pretty tricky. I had my doubts about some of the calls to "vote the bum out" over the CBDPTA(?) nonsense simply because my political views are more in line with the (D) side of the aisle. I'm glad I'm in NC now and don't have to make *that* choice.

Smooch from Hollings (2)

tdye (308813) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374143)

When you look at this bill and the DRM bill he's proposed, on thing is clear: this bill is the legislative equivalent of getting a big kiss on the lips right before you take it up the bum.

I have a solution... (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374149)

OPT in on everything is required and a federal fine of $1000.00 per incident of releasing the unauthorized information and every use of it thereafter.

I can hear the marketing dweebs already... "OMG you'll destroy marketing, and all bssnisses, the world will spiral into oblivion if we dont know you buy generic toiler paper every other thursday with your debit card!"

again I say.... Bullcrap.. the world will continue, we will still see commercials, and things will continue EXCEPT they have to actually ask for the information now... it's like businesses are allowed to not have manners...

Medical Information (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3374168)

I don't see how the "selling" of medical information is legal at all. I worked for a company who made software for the health care industry, and there's some serious laws regarding protection of medical information. Both parties sending and receiving any information must have written signed guarentees that the information will be kept private. This act is the Health Care Protection and Acountability Act (HIPAA).
A simple opt-in (ala Yahoo! i'm asuming here) wouldn't abide by the laws set forth in HIPAA.

I'm surprised Hollins even brings medical information to the Internet. Most medical facilities I worked with had stricit protocols or strict seperation regarding sensitive data and the Internet. If any information was sent at all, it was either via FAX, hardcopy, or on a secure connection (via CarbonCopy, or similar program).

The only people who need my medical information are my health care providers.

Hollings plan (2)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374175)

he will take this pivacy bill, tone down the cbtp-blah, smuch them together and call it the "Internet economic relief and proliferation act" (IERPA)

since that seems to be a common theme in his bills.

Means uphill battle for SSSCA/CBTPA (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374177)

If he needs techies' support, then that means the CBTPA is not guaranteed passage in Congress. Furthermore, it means that after having pursued ALL OTHER special interests in the US, he's STILL come up short of the support he needs for passage, and that he's gone to techies as a very last resort.

This is a good sign :)

Trojan Horse (4, Informative)

rlp (11898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374186)

Just wait for it to get out of committee and have Hollings tack on an amendment that looks amazingly like the CBDTPA. Senator Leahy killed the CBDTPA by refusing to let it out of committee. Hollings could have had a change of heart, and suddenly become interested in individual privacy rights - but I wouldn't bet that way.

Senatorial chessgame (3, Informative)

peacefinder (469349) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374195)

Remember that the US Senate is one of the great bastions of political gamesmanship.

It's probably a safe bet that Hollings hasn't suddenly switched his basic pro-media position. If that's so, then this bill may well be a maneuver to counteract someone else's bill.

For instance, in the recent campaign finance reform debates, the opponents of CFR floated a *better* bill, that they knew would not pass, as a way to divide the support for a CFR bill that might pass. This could well be a similar maneuver.

Pay close attention to the men behind the curtains. :)

The incredible state of almost. (2, Insightful)

Paul Neubauer (86753) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374198)

The incredible state of almost is where this comes from. I suppose some compromise will have to happen, but in an ideal world, to me, things would opt-in, and any change would be required to be very explicit and specific. That is, if one opts into Company A for XYZ, even Company A can't bug one about JKL as that was not opted into.

I'm not entirely sure I want law for privacy, as omissions in it might be seen as an invitation to do questionable things. But then having no law seems to be doing the same.

Perhaps a law of reciprocity? If someone want information about me, first they must supply me with the equivalent about them. For any limit they want on what I do with that, I get to put a limit on what they do with my information - and it need not be the same limit (since I'm not doing what they are, most likely). Dream world? Yep, alas.

Loyalty (2)

blankmange (571591) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374217)

I understand that this senator is trying everything he can to please his employer (obviously not the US gov't), but he also doesn't seem to remember how he got there; on the vote of the people.... I will admit, he is scurrying around, getting his name noticed, but it isn't necessarily a positive thing to have your name popping up on a weekly basis because your employer (Disney) yanked your string....

Why Hollings is the Senator from Disney (2, Interesting)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 12 years ago | (#3374225)

Is it any coincidence that Hollings is the spokesman for all of these bills that are harmful to consumers, but loved by Hollywood? Quite simply, no one in South Carolina cares. I live in South Carolina and I haven't heard any media converage about this.

Hollings is the spokesman for this because he won't take any heat from his constituants. As long as he brings the pork back to Charleston, he'll keep getting re-elected. (Let's face it, getting re-elected to the Senate in South Carolina isn't that difficult.) South Carolina is perhaps the least techonologically savvy states in the country (#1 in percentage of population living in mobile homes, #1 in rates of STD infection, #51 in SAT scores.) People here are too concerned with the damn Confederate flag to notice.

My point is that Disney has lots of other Senators in their pocket. It's just that only Hollings can be so blatant about it.

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