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Big Brother's Pizza Delivery

timothy posted about 12 years ago | from the we-know-where-and-how-much dept.

Privacy 82

Dusty Rhodes writes: "Lexis/Nexis, providers of massive database information services mostly to media, legal and law enforcement organizations, is hyping their new database service, BatchTrace, to track fugitives and deadbeats. In addition to cataloging common info such as census records, driver's license records, etc., this database includes pizza delivery records, tech support call records and grocery store discount card records. Who knew you'd need an alias to order a pizza? Pretty funny/sad stuff in the Land of the Free. What's next, a national pizza delivery ID, complete with thumbprint and DNA sample? Thanks to Britt Sandusky for pointing us to this story."

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ATTN SLASHBOTS: NOBODY CARES (-1)

This_Is_ASDF (587337) | about 12 years ago | (#4039592)

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Re:ATTN SLASHBOTS: NOBODY CARES (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4039646)

I read your post and I saw god.

I can see it now . . . (2, Funny)

vegetablespork (575101) | about 12 years ago | (#4039594)

. . . sorry, Mr. Smith, no pizza for you this evening; the credit card charge has been diverted to the State for your back child support payments.

Re:I can see it now . . . (3, Interesting)

Hard_Code (49548) | about 12 years ago | (#4040228)

That's less funny if you replace "back child support" for "estimated movie/music piracy".

Re:I can see it now . . . (2)

PhxBlue (562201) | about 12 years ago | (#4040732)

Agent Smith has kids? Who knew?!

This is OK by me. (1)

bmetzler (12546) | about 12 years ago | (#4039611)

Really, I have nothing to hide. However, I think that we should be able to get a copy of our own report, just like a credit report. That'd help ensure some accountability.

-Brent

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

joedames (130760) | about 12 years ago | (#4039810)

Did anyone happen to read the Bill of Rights before they came up with this one?

Amendment IV

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.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (2)

pythorlh (236755) | about 12 years ago | (#4039858)

Unfortunately, the BoR only applies to the federal government. Since this is a public company collecting the information, there is no guarantee against it due to the BoR. Hopefully, it can be made illegal on the grounds of invasion of privacy, but it would have to be challenged.

IANAL

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (2)

jareds (100340) | about 12 years ago | (#4043624)

Hopefully, it can be made illegal on the groudns of invasion of privacy, but it would have to be challenged.

What are you talking about? Invasion of privacy refers to publication of embarrassing private facts of no legitimate newsworthiness. This is a service to let you find someone's address, which doesn't even remotely fit the bill.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

bmetzler (12546) | about 12 years ago | (#4039885)

to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,

How does this database cause unreasonable searches and seizures? OK, so someone knows that I eat Papa Johns 3 times a week. Fine, I'd still expect that they'd need a warrant to come in and seize the empty pizza boxes.

Here's how it works. I order a pizza, and Papa Johns makes a record of my order. They sell it to Nexis-Dexis, and someone looks it up. Am I less secure? Did someone search my house? Was something seized without an oath? No, no, and no.

So this really has nothing to do with the Bill Of Rights. It's merely a data mining program.

-Brent

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4041705)

Because, quite simply sir they know you bought this food at the grocery store at exactly 10:42 pm and they know that you filled up with gas at exactly 11:33 and they know that a woman was killed in that general vicinity at about 11pm and they know that it only takes 10 min to get from the grocery store to the bank. So, sir, how do you account for those extra 30 min? Oh, just taking a smoke? I see.....well, your records show that you didn't buy any smokes and they also show that for the past 6 months it's ALWAYS only taken you 11 min to go from the grocery store to the bank. So, once again what were you doing for that 30 min?

Who cares about the actual murderer who just got in the area, so they haven't been able to track. You are now a suspect because you're the only one who has unaccounted time (well, unaccounted in their database at least) that they know of. Once the database becomes ubiquitious, the smoking gun becomes what they see in the database.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

bmetzler (12546) | about 12 years ago | (#4041792)

You are now a suspect because you're the only one who has unaccounted time

Yes, but what does this have to do with the Bill Of Rights. Does being a suspect due to a db entry mean that the warrant is unnecessary?

This thread is about whether this violates the Bill Of Rights article that guarantees you protection from search and siezure in your own house. I say that this doesn't violate the Bill of Rights. You still have to have a warrant to search your property, and make an arrest, even if the lead came from a database, right?

-Brent

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4042160)

True, this is a very interesting conundrum.

Well, let's look at the intent of the Bill of Rights. It specifically says "papers" -- how many things do you do on the computer that you (or your great-great grandfather back in 1776) did on paper? A lot. Virtually all the relevant tracking info that is done on the computer and put into a database now used to be done solely on paper.

It all comes down to a matter of personal opinion. You focus on the intent that this is supposed to be in your home. In that respect, there's not much I can say. I think the government should have to get a warrant to grab my credit card purchases and my grocery buying habits and who I've called and where I've surfed. To me, that's private stuff. I focus on the intent that the government should not be able to grab data that's personal to you (that really, only you should know. There's no real excuse for anyone knowing you got gas at exactly 11:42 pm). I think they codified this in the Bill of Rights in at what was the time an elegant matter -- all your personal stuff was kept in your house and to get it they needed a warrant. All the really relevant stuff like birth records and where you live is public. Now-a-days more and more of that stuff that was previously only personal and only kept in your house is now online. I belive the intent of the Bill of Rights covers this. It's a very muddy issue -- my deal is that they really have no good reason at all to keep this info. They didn't need to in the past and now just because they can doesn't give them the right to. Give me a true, clear-cut need (not want, but need) for having this data then I'll let them have it. Until then, I believe the Bill of Rights was meant to prevent harvesting data.

In short, my belief is that the Bill of Rights was a statement against the government being able to harvest any data about you that is not widely publicly known (dob, place of residence, etc) unless they have probable cause (aka a search warrant).

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (2)

jareds (100340) | about 12 years ago | (#4043684)

I think the government should have to get a warrant to grab my credit card purchases and my grocery buying habits and who I've called and where I've surfed. To me, that's private stuff.

I think you just have to live with the fact that people you do business with can keep a record of that business. Of course, your credit card company and grocer have the right to refuse to provide information to the government, but they have no obligation to refuse.

(that really, only you should know. There's no real excuse for anyone knowing that you got gas at exactly 11:42 pm).

So if someone sells you gas, they have no excuse for knowing when they did so?!

In short, my belief is that the Bill of Rights was a statement against the government being able to harvest any data about you that is not widely publicly known (dob, place of residence, etc) unless they have probable cause (aka a search warrant).

That's absurd. Virtually any sort of police investigation involves harvesting information that isn't publicly known without a warrant. The police don't need a warrant to ask a pizza delivery guy if he saw a certain person when he delivered pizza to a certain apartment yesterday, so why should they need a warrant to get information from Lexis/Nexis that Lexis/Nexis obtained from pizza delivery companies?

The government violates the Bill of Rights in a variety of ways, but this is not one of them.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | about 12 years ago | (#4043476)

You are now a suspect because you're the only one who has unaccounted time

Thus says the ticktock man. . . .

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4043188)

Pizza three times a week? That's a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. I bet your insurance agent would like to know about that. And why should we blow any social security money on you? When you get your heart attack, your insurance agent is gonna point out your ultra-unhealthy diet and drop you like a stone, and you'll expect the govt to pick up the tab. Well, expect some clauses in SS to be put in eventually since there isn't gonna be enough money to go around. Choosing people based on lifestyles is as good as any for a selection process.

Who's gonna pay gfor your heart surgery?

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

jareds (100340) | about 12 years ago | (#4043570)

Even if you have to pay higher health insurance premiums because your lifestyle is less healthy, so what? The point of insurance is to manage risks that are, as much as possible, outside of your control. People who choose to live in Florida have to pay more to be insured against hurricanes than people who live in Oregon. What's the big deal if people who choose to live less healthfully have to pay higher health insurance premiums?

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4045934)

No, the point of insurance is to make money for the insurance companies. They define what insurance is, and regularly change those definitions, if you pay attention to the mailings sent to you.

Insurance companies are taking fewer risks themselves. Pretty soon, if that point hasn't been reached already, owning an insurance policy will be worth less than a savings account set aside containing the money that would have gone to an insurance company.In other words, insurance companies operating in a zero risk environment.

At which point insurance companies will have ceased being a beneficial aspect of society. Programs like this pizza thing, and deals with the supermarket saver cards, just bring us closer this end.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (2)

jareds (100340) | about 12 years ago | (#4047525)

No, the point of insurance is to make money for the insurance companies.

Well, it's obviously true that that's the purpose of it for insurance companies. I was referring to the purpose of it for policy holders.

They define what insurance is, and regularly change those definitions, if you pay attention to the mailings sent to you.

Insurance companies are taking fewer risks themselves. Pretty soon, if that point hasn't been reached already, owning an insurance policy will be worth less than a savings account set aside containing the money that would have gone to an insurance company.In other words, insurance companies operating in a zero risk environment.

Of course, it has always been the case that, on average, you're better off saving the money, because otherwise insurance companies would go bankrupt. The point is that I'd rather lose a little money if my house doesn't burn down than lose a lot of money if it does. Whether a policy is worth more or less than a savings account is a subjective judgment based on one's individual risk-aversion.

At which point insurance companies will have ceased being a beneficial aspect of society.

If, indeed, people decide that their policies are worth less than savings accounts, insurance companies will cease being beneficial to society. However, they will also go out of business, because they will have no customers. Thus, they presumably will make sure that their policies remain useful.

Programs like this pizza thing, and deals with the supermarket saver cards, just bring us closer this end.

No, they don't. In our example, although purchase tracking makes health insurance more expensive to the guy who eats pizza all the time, it makes it cheaper for the rest of us. I see no problem with making people pay for the consequences of their actions. A far more interesting issue, where your points about insurance being worth less would actually apply, is what would happen if we were able to genetically screen for cancer or something, but that's not related to purchase tracking.

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

Ironica (124657) | about 12 years ago | (#4043030)

Did you happen to read the Fourth Amendment before you posted it?

Re:This is NOT OK by me. (1)

joedames (130760) | about 12 years ago | (#4055323)

yes. I'm not sure what your point is.

Re:This is OK by me. (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 12 years ago | (#4040142)

You have nothing to hide? The Agency is terribly sorry Mrs. Buttle...

Re:This is OK by me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4043053)

wow, that sig is so damned pretty, it makes me want to suck your cock.

*tard.

-ac

Unlist? (1)

lowtekneq (469145) | about 12 years ago | (#4039626)

Is there some way you could unlist yourself. Since you can unlist yourself from the Telephone book and other non-gov lists I'm guessing they have have no legal right to list you after you ask to be unlisted?

Re:Unlist? (1)

lynx_user_abroad (323975) | about 12 years ago | (#4039660)

lowtekneq once said:

Is there some way you could unlist yourself. Since you can unlist yourself from the Telephone book and other non-gov lists I'm guessing they have have no legal right to list you after you ask to be unlisted?

That's part of the stickiness of this problem. Yes, you should be able to "unlist" certain information, maybe not all (Mr. Banker, please forget the mortgage I took out last week...) but some reasonable subset.

The problem is, does that mean I now need to forget that lowtekneq once said:

Is there some way you could unlist yourself....

Re:Unlist? (1)

Ethidium (105493) | about 12 years ago | (#4040570)

You have the legal right to deny any business or agency your social security number unless it is a government agency with a valid privacy act statement explaining why you are requied by a law to provide your number.

In most cases, that doesn't really mean you have a choice. A few weeks ago I told a video rental company, "sorry, that's private information. I don't give out my SSN," and walked out of the store. This is okay. But when the blood bank asks me for my SSN, I have to give it to them or I can't donate. When my Insurance company asks me for my SSN, I have to give it to them or they won't insure me. When the Power company asks me for my SSN, I have to give it to them or my milk spoils.

So, maybe this represents a change. Maybe we won't have to give out our social security numbers to everybody and her brother anymore. Now it'll be "sure thing, what's your Lexis/Nexis number?" "Oh, you're not a member of the system/don't want to give us that information. Well that's fine, Mr. Smith, I hope you enjoy camping because from now on you will have no power, running water, or telephone service -- you might as well rough it in a park, it's prettier there, and you can light fires without setting off alarms"

It's for tracking fugitives and deadbeats -- just like the Social Security database is for paying government benefits. What does either have to do with your power bill? Jack squat, except that it gives you a unique number linked to something "desireable" (government money/justice for fugitives), and it saves corporate database monkeys the few extra minutes that it would take to add a GUID number to each record.

Financial Profiling, anyone? (3, Interesting)

dpilot (134227) | about 12 years ago | (#4039691)

When "Big Brother" and "Pizza Delivery" come together, normally some sort of obligatory reference to Snow Crash is required.

But in this case, there's actually something interesting to be questioned. The subject article comes from the credit history angle, for purposes like trying to locate deadbeats. But take the more sinister view and add "financial profiling." How about checking takeout orders, but instead of looking for pizza look for Halaal food? Of course only sleeper-cells would order take-out Halaal. (for Halaal, think Kosher, only for Muslims)

In other news today (2)

codexus (538087) | about 12 years ago | (#4039729)

The dangerous escaped convict, Codexus, was arrested after he made the mistake of ordering his usual Sushi, Banana, Oignon, Extra-Cheese pizza. He was the only person in the BatchTrace database to have ever ordered that kind of pizza and the system was able to immediately alert the police.

Re:In other news today (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | about 12 years ago | (#4049529)

Actually, I vaguely recall reading a novel several years ago where one of the minor characters (an IRA agent) was captured in England based on the fact that the police knew that he always shopped at the Coop. So when he came from Ireland to London, they started watching the Coop and sure enough, they nabbed him.

This system could make something like that more practical in real life. If you are "wanted" and it is known that you drink exactly 4 gallons of milk each week, then "they" could check milk suppliers and see who purchased 4 gallons last week. Or whatever.

It sounds like this database contains or will contain enough information to create a fairly extensive profile of someone and that profile could be used for many different purposed. Good or bad depending on which pair of shoes you are standing in.

Again, use cash, folks! (3, Informative)

Deagol (323173) | about 12 years ago | (#4039798)

My local grocery (Albertsons) recently began pushing their Member cards. They get pushed hard at the checkout counter, and each time I kindly refuse. In fact, I use Albertsons over Smith's because the latter had higer prices but had the cards to make you think you were getting a deal. Now, they're nearly the same. I've tried to be up on the price changes at Albertson's. If the prices aren't increasing slowly, there sure is a psychological impression that they are.

People give me an odd look when I tell them that I live a mostly cash-only lifestyle. Each paycheck I withdraw all but the small amount which goes on a credit card. No before you call me a hypocrite, I use the CC for transactions that are already recorded, no matter how I pay (savings bonds purchases, paying bills, etc.).

However, I always use cash for gassing up the car, for normal retail purchases (food, hardware supplies, elecetronics/software, etc.). For mail order and some bills I use USPS money orders. At least with money orders, my bank doesn't know I paid $55 for last month's water bill even if the water company does. That's just one less piece of information some company can exploit.

It's getting bad out there. I was alarmed when I bought a DVD player at Wal Mart and they entered the serial # into the register!

It's revelations like this story that make me glad I tolerate the odd looks for my perceived "odd" behavior. Some day, one of you discount card users is gonna get a notice from your health insurance about a premium increase because they know that you buy a gallon of Rocky Road icecream every week. Trust me -- it will happen some day!

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

Eagle7 (111475) | about 12 years ago | (#4039882)

On a related note, one of the grocery stores near me has started to enter in your Driver's License ID# instead of your age when you buy beer. I still bought the beer, but I think I am going to switch stores (or refuse to let them enter it first and see what happens). I don't know if I want that being tracked.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

glitch_ (48803) | about 12 years ago | (#4041235)

This is actually a way to check for fake ids. Basically the people who make fake ids don't use a real drivers license number, or they use the drivers license number of your real id. I'm not sure if your birthdate is coded in your drivers license number or if they lookup the drivers license number and query your age from a database. Anyway, I got this information from the Secetary of State for Illinois. I had to sit in on a class that taught you how to check for fake IDs, since I would be serving alcohol at a fest in town, and the lady mentioned that next year we would be using terminals that will check the driver's license number.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (0)

DDX_2002 (592881) | about 12 years ago | (#4043677)

More likely there's a check digit or two that the terminal will calculate and verify- I can't believe the DMV is going to want to pony up bandwidth and server load to actually query the DB each time somebody tries to buy a six pack.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

moncyb (456490) | about 12 years ago | (#4039987)

That is why I'm not going there anymore.
I went to Albertsons last night, and I noticed
their prices have doubled! Nor do I want a
tracking card!

I wonder how long it'll be until
all grocery stores have tracking cards that
demand to know your driver's license and SS#.
Hmm...with so much information, I wonder if they
are building databases so they can commit some
identity theft...

In the UK some chains have abandoned loyalty cards (2)

rpjs (126615) | about 12 years ago | (#4040147)

ASDA, which is owned by Walmart, is one of the UK chains that have abandoned loyalty card schemes, saying customers prefer low prices to gimmicks.

I don't think the sort of data collection and matching mentioned in the head article would be legal in the EU. The US needs Data Protection laws!

Re:In the UK some chains have abandoned loyalty ca (2)

moncyb (456490) | about 12 years ago | (#4040379)

Great! Any information as to what steered them in that direction?

Oh, and the US does have a "data protection" law. It is called the DMCA. There is also another one coming out called the CBDTPA. In my country no one cares about the citizen's rights. :-(

BTW (in case someone doesn't get it) I know what was meant by data protection laws--I was being sarcastic...

Re:In the UK some chains have abandoned loyalty ca (2)

rpjs (126615) | about 12 years ago | (#4041914)

Great! Any information as to what steered them in that direction?

A quick furtle about the BBC site finds this article [bbc.co.uk] about Safeway UK following ASDA's lead and quotes ASDA as saying only a tiny percentage of their surveyed customers wanted one. Personally, I do have a another chain's loyalty card but only because they offered Air Miles on it.

Certainly supermarkets here don't do the dual pricing with-card discounted vs without-card more expensive thing I've seen in the US. Maybe our consumer protection laws would deem that misleading. Instead the usual way to get a discount is that when you've accrued a certain number of points you get a voucher with a nominal monetary value that you can offset against your next purchase.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (1)

jon787 (512497) | about 12 years ago | (#4040269)

we have a grocery store called D&W around here that does that.Funny enough there was a dilbert cartoon about this a few days agao:

http://dilbert.com/comics/dilbert/archive/dilber t- 20020728.html

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2, Informative)

Analog Penguin (550933) | about 12 years ago | (#4040703)

Yes, I have already posted this [nocards.org] in another thread, but it's certainly applicable here as well.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (1)

BlakeStone (539519) | about 12 years ago | (#4040840)

So what happens when all cash is electronically transferred(and, someday, it will be)? Anyone up for joining a hermit colony on the moon?

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

Deagol (323173) | about 12 years ago | (#4041003)

There is such a huge demand for anonymous transactions (think gambling, drugs, prostitution, privacy nuts like myself, etc.), that I highly doubt that it will ever go away. Even our senators and congressmen need to get laid while they're in D.C. or running the campaign trail. :)

However, if US currency does become solely an electronic and trackable medium, I'm almost certain a replacement will quickly find its way into circulation. Perhaps even good old barter.

Earlier this year when that South American country's currency went down the toilet (Brazil, maybe?), people started using some kind of tickets or vouchers since the real currency was worthless. I heard this on NPR, but I don't have a reference handy.

Agentina (3, Interesting)

John Harrison (223649) | about 12 years ago | (#4041333)

There was a show about it on PBS last night. People have resorted to joining bartering groups.

Brazil has had its own strangeness. I was living there when they switched from the Cruzeiro Real to the Real. They didn't correctly anticipate the number of coins that would have to be minted. For six months you couldn't get the 5 cents change from your 45 cent bus fare. You got a "5 cent coupon" instead. So basically the bus fare was 50 cents with your tenth ride free!

ps For being a privacy nut you just told us all where you live. Smith's and Albertson's aren't exactly nationwide chains. :)

Privacy and electronic cash (2)

John Harrison (223649) | about 12 years ago | (#4041294)

It is possible to design a system that will allow secure and anonymous electronic cash transactions. It is certainly easier to not make the transactions anonymous, but it can be done. Generally the people who are paying for systems to be implemented do not have privacy within the system as a goal. They want this information. They also don't want it to get out. Of course a search warrant solves that little moral quandry...

Re:Privacy and electronic cash (2)

Deagol (323173) | about 12 years ago | (#4041994)

Yup, I know.

For those curious, search for David Chaum's "digicash". I think Applied Crypto talks about Chaum's stuff (or at least digital cash, anyway).

digicash.com has been registered (and even up) for years, but it never got off the ground. On paper, it sounds awesome. However, the little tinfoil-hat-wearing voice in me thinks the goverment (and credit card companies) are scared shitless of a fully anonymous e-cash system, even if it has all the benefits (authentication, repudiation, etc.) of the strong crypto system so they are making sure digicash never becomes useful.

Already happened (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | about 12 years ago | (#4041729)

BI-LO got sued for selling their database to an insurance company. No shite. "steaks... beer... cigarettes...Raise his rates!!!"

Try card swapping (2)

marcus (1916) | about 12 years ago | (#4041840)

It's OK, stick to your cash, but you can help us befuddle the databases by starting your own card swapping club.

Go ahead and register for your discount card, but never use it. Trade with someone else. Trade again. Get a bunch of friends together, throw all of your cards in a pile, stir them up and then pull out the same type and number of cards that you threw in. When you meet someone else that has cards like yours, swap again.

Obviously this doesn't work for credit cards or anything that has your name on it.

Keep paying with cash.

So far I have swapped Safeway, Albertson's, Tom Thumb, and Brookshires with people from all over the country, as far apart as Alaska, California, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida. The last swap was in Alaska and I have no idea who's card I gave, nor who's I have.

Or make a community card (1)

Russellkhan (570824) | about 12 years ago | (#4043207)

That's what I do. Many stores allow you to punch in a phone number instead of swiping your card. I started a card with Safeway and will soon start one for Albertson's and give the phone number to everyone, informing them that if we all share the card, it prevents individual tracking.

The card number I use (and I encourage everyone else to use it, too) is: 510-843-7226 - that's 510 (my area code, feel free to use it or start one in your own area code - my thinking is more people on a given card is better, no matter what the area code) THE-SCAM. Don't use anyone's real name or address - you lose out a little on coupons mailed to card members, but it's a small price to pay for privacy.

One of these days, I've been meaning to put together a website promoting community 'rewards' cards. If anyone gets to it before I do, let me know, I'll gladly post numbers for any store where I get the chance to start one.

Russ

Re:Or make a community card (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4059555)

I wonder how many people today called your number just for the hell of it.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

Bartab (233395) | about 12 years ago | (#4043163)

That's odd, the Alberton's around here (California) made a big deal about getting rid of the Luckys cards when they bought them. Their in-store advertising still presents them as superior to Safeway due to the lack of a card.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

BitGeek (19506) | about 12 years ago | (#4043562)


I agree, and I'm right behind you. Paying cash more and more.

We use the grocery store cards because we filled out bogus info on them (or in one case never turned in the form, just got the card.)

But it occurs to me that they may correlate this with using the banks card to track us. I trust the bank though-- its not a bank, but an association that has a credit union. No shareholders to keep happy- just depositors. I'm all for market and capitalism, but my exercise of the free market choice I have is choosing a non-commercial bank. Plus I got screwed over by commercial banks too many times.

The problem is, the feds are starting to crack down. Any time you spend $5,000 they have a form you have to fill out. Pretty soon this will be $1,000. So they are starting to track significant transactions directly. (Say buying a car. Another thing I don't use is the credit system- fraudulent from the get go, and the feds have made it impossible to protect your rights in that area- they can say whatever they want about you and as long as they respond to your correspondence within 30 days you can't do squat.) The car dealership is gonna want you to fill out the federal form when you plunk down $15k for a new car... but then, why spend that much when you can get 7 perfectly good toyota carollas for that kind of money?

But I digress... there always is private car sellers who are happy to take travellers checks or money orders... and you can get these without showing ID, IIRC.

When money is outlawed, only outlaws will have cash.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

gilroy (155262) | about 12 years ago | (#4045520)

Blockquoth the poster:

Some day, one of you discount card users is gonna get a notice from your health insurance about a premium increase because they know that you buy a gallon of Rocky Road icecream every week. Trust me -- it will happen some day!

Indeed, I'm counting on it. Whenever these stories hit, I am secretly glad ... because eventually, some company is going to cross the line and do something that pisses off Joe Sixpack and Jane Q. Public. And then we'll see the needed cultural and legal reaction.


Face it. In an Internet-linked society, privacy is gone. We need to stop pretending we can maintain it and start discussing, rationally, how to provide the transparency that is the only remedy for the Panopticon.


By the way, since the water company knows how much you paid for last month's bill, so does your bank -- or at least, it soon will. Even if you attempt to become a "blank" and drop off the radar, the information collected by different entities can and will be thrown together. You will make a mark as you move through society and anyone sufficiently interested will be able to follow you. And if everyone sticks his head in the sand and pretends that makes him safe -- if we don't build a social consensus on what is and more importantly what is not an acceptable use for massed data -- then the ability to track even the blanks will become cheaper and more widespread.

Re:Again, use cash, folks! (2)

Cutriss (262920) | about 12 years ago | (#4060793)

It's getting bad out there. I was alarmed when I bought a DVD player at Wal Mart and they entered the serial # into the register!

This has been done for some time now - I think the trial runs were done with the Nintendo Game Boy (the old grey one). If you look on the back, they all have barcodes, and there was a hole in the box through which you could see it. Every Game Boy sold through retail chains has been scanned. Has anything bad come of it yet?

The truth is that the retail chains do this to help reduce shrink and monitor returns. If a shipment disappears or never gets sold, the supplier has a list of all the IDs that never got rung up at the register, and he knows where the buck stopped at. It's not like the DVD players phone home or anything - It's just used to help nail the people in the stock room that aren't doing their jobs.

I stopped going to Safeway... (4, Interesting)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 12 years ago | (#4040109)


"... and grocery store discount card records."

I stopped going to Safeway, since they use discount cards rather than just giving customers the price at which they want to sell without expecting to track them.

(Discount cards do NOT provide discounts. The grocery store always sells at the price they want to sell. They merely increase the price so that people will get cards, and can then be tracked, especially if they ever use a credit or debit card in connection with a purchase.)

I've started shopping at WinCo Foods instead. They have much lower prices, and they don't do sneaky things. WinCo Foods [wincofoods.com] stores are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada.

Did Safeway think that there would be no cost for them in tracking the customer?

I've noticed that abusive companies eventually disappear, or almost disappear. At one time IBM had 90% of the PC market, but they tried to trap customers with a proprietary bus system. At one time Novell had 85% of the PC network market, but they didn't care that their software had a lot of quirks. At one time PC Magazine was a large bi-weekly magazine, but they seemed to favor some companies in their test results. If you believe these examples are representative, then you may begin to think that eventually Microsoft will be a small software company.

P.S.: (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 12 years ago | (#4040171)


P.S.:

Anyone who doesn't know that Microsoft is abusive should read this article that I wrote about Windows XP problems: Windows XP shows the Direction Microsoft is Going [hevanet.com] . Click Reload if you have visited the article before, because it has recently been re-written with added material.

Re:P.S.: (2)

Moridineas (213502) | about 12 years ago | (#4041297)

That article is complete FUD btw...I could practically go through and dispute every single point (or at least 90% of them). THis came up a couple of weeks ago too. sigh.

Every point in the article has been verified. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 12 years ago | (#4042726)

Every point in the article has been verified by Microsoft employees or has been backed up with links to news sites.

It didn't really happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4042772)

Are you saying that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission did not cite Microsoft for lying to customers about Passport? (See FTC Case Against Microsoft [ftc.gov] .

Found an error? I'll fix it. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 12 years ago | (#4042870)


I forgot to say earlier that if you have found an error in the article about Microsoft, referenced above, I will fix it.

Re:Found an error? I'll fix it. (3, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | about 12 years ago | (#4043454)

ok, here are my complaints:

1. All the things that try to connect to the internet. I run ZoneAlarm, and I have only seen
4. Generic Host Process
11. Media Player, checking for codec

I'm not saying you're lieing, but just that that's all I've run into.

As for your next paragraph--big companies move slowly, it sucks yes, but your hysterical "microsoft ignores bugs and wants people to get hacked" is off the wall.

You also talk about your theory that microsoft makes buggy software so that people will buy upgrades. What are the bugs people typically mention ? IIS, Outlook, IE, hotmail. ALL free, so your theory for those programs can't be right.

Your next paragraph also seems ridiculous, indicating some sort of spying conspiracy.

And your next paragraph is verifiably false--the corporate culture is supposed to be great at microsoft. I've known 2 interns who worked there over summers, both loved it. Motivation != quality.

the DRM stuff all seems ok

Your next paragraph about the government lost me...

Ok, your (your?) registry discussion is where I have the most problems. first you say if the registry becomes corrupted you have to re-format, re-install, etc. This is simply not true. One, Windows makes periodic backups of the registry automatically, from which to restore. You say the registry is a single very vulnerable point of failure? By being a single point, it's also easy to backup and restore. Re-formatting isn't necessary even if for some bizarre reason you had to do a re-install. Rescue install can handle that easily, if again, for some bizarre reason, the registry backups don't work. The registry prevents control by the user? Again, bull, for 99% of what most users would want to change, there is a control panel, or a settings box, or a management console, etc.

Incidentally, user registry settings are stored in a different hive file. Again, you lose me on the next part of your discussion. Under what scenario will a registry become partially corrupted and not recognize this? I've never heard of this happening, do you have any evidence that this happens? Again, you talk about re-formatting and I say bah. Next you talk about how Windows XP prevents you from backing up the registry...again simply not true. Take a look at a) the regedit export command, b) the "reg" command (console) c) I imagine it's taken care of in System Restore as well (I turned it off--never had a need for it).

The next section on backups is even MORE ridiculous. Did you even read that article?? The problem with disk duplication of windows is that the SID (MS Network IP address..a unique identifier in other words) cannot be identical. Nowhere does it say MS forbids backing up (which works fine--it ONLY doesn't work if you are replicating to multiple installs). This is pure proveable FUD.

Ok, the next part is yadda yadda yadda about Passport. I clicked no, it's never come up again, no loss of functionality, I don't see the problem.

Palladium fine, we don't know anything yet, but fine, speculate all you want..

As for the CLI, I don't know about this. I've found sound emulation to be AMAZING under XP--I've been able to run DOS games with sound (Quest for glory to be precise) that I literally haven't been able to run since DOS days.

The extra spaces thing you mention is very deliberate. You can paste as input into a program. If the command prompt arbitrarily decides to stop pasting what you have in the clipboard, you can be in for some problems here. I haven't run into any of the other problems you bemoan.

XP Scheduler inefficiencies? Again, no idea what you're talking about. Never run into it. Your language is unclear, but it seems the blame is to lay on the driver writers, not MS? So there are no buggy drivers for nix/bsd?

I've never run into that ALT+TAB bug either.

The last part again seems part out paranoid xfiles-ish to me, but hey, you can have your opinion--it's the factual errors in this article that bother me.

I will consider everything you said. (2)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 12 years ago | (#4044697)


I can see definitely that some parts of the article need to be re-written. However, nothing you have said convinces me that there is a technical error.

Is it possible that you were not reading the latest version? Did you reload your browser?

The registry has the problems that I mentioned. We are not talking about problems you had. We are talking about problems that I have had and that are commonly known. It is very easy to back up the registry. It is impossible under some conditions to make use of a backup. Those conditions are explained in the article.

You said, "I've never run into that ALT+TAB bug either." A reader sent me an explanation of how it works. The problem only occurs after you have more than 21 programs running at the same time. After that, it starts acting oddly, to say the least.

I can't answer more fully now, but I will have a careful look at everything you said.

The article references a Microsoft article that discusses backup limitations. They say that disk cloning is "not supported" under some conditions. I agree with that. The problems have nothing to do with the SID.

Re:I will consider everything you said. (2)

Moridineas (213502) | about 12 years ago | (#4046411)

The registry has the problems that I mentioned. We are not talking about problems you had. We are talking about problems that I have had and that are commonly known. It is very easy to back up the registry. It is impossible under some conditions to make use of a backup. Those conditions are explained in the article.

Ok, you say that "If this one large, often fragmented, file becomes corrupted, the only way of recovering may be to re-format the hard drive, re-install the operating system, and then re-install and re-configure all the applications.". Simply not true. Windows makes regular back ups, if you're a safety person, you can make your own backups, ergo, if it is corrupted there is a 99% chance that windows will recover on it's own. So, your statement is not true. You could say that "If this one large oft-fragmented file becomes corrupted, there is chance that a complete re-format and re-install will need to be done" -- that would be true.

Do you have ANY evidence that this is true: "Microsoft apparently designed it this way to provide copy protection." ?

Also, do you have any evidence that the registry can become partially corrupted? I really don't think that this can happen. And this is one of the central parts of your "Registry can't be backed up / restored" paragraphs.

"So, you cannot create your own backup tools, as you could in Windows 98." -- Also false, I told you the name of several ways to do that (regedit, reg command, etc)

As for thei nfamous "backup" article the article itself says "This article briefly describes methods that Windows XP supports for cloning or for duplicating a Windows XP installation. " This has NOTHING to do with making disk image backups. NOTHING. It has to do with CLONING or REPLICATING. To explain what this: Take one computer, install, configure, make disk image, cloen to another computer, and 10 more. This won't work in XP. AND the article you link to even tells you how to get around this in another article and in this one (sysprep.exe). So this is patently wrong.

About the ALT+TAB thing--I just opened 25 windows. They are arranged in 3 rows of 8 icons, and it works. fine. So I can verify this is not true (for XP).

A lot of the stuff I said "I've never run into" or along those lines. the reason I say that is that I can't verify for true or false your claims. Not saying you're making them up, just that I haven't seen them, and your article rather makes it seem like everyoen runs into these problems.

Re:I will consider everything you said. (-1)

Asdfghanistan (590625) | about 12 years ago | (#4046651)

Can someone please tell this Futurepower guy to shut the fuck up? I swear, every comment I see by him is "Read my article!" and has the reply "Don't forget to reload my article!" You'd think he has banners on it or something.

Re:I stopped going to Safeway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4041212)

All you have to do is to 'forget' your card and enter in the phone number of an existing customer. My ex has been probably listed as eating twice as much in the past two years...

... and shop at the neighborhood Farmer's Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4041669)

No loyalty tags, no cameras. Just fresh food in exchange for cash.

Re:I stopped going to Safeway... (2)

datastew (529152) | about 12 years ago | (#4041714)

For Safeway, if I leave my card in the glove box, I just give them the phone number of someone else who I have found (through trial and error) has a Safeway card.

I just told them that I had moved since I filled out the form and did not remember the old number very well. They let me try a few out and when they got a hit in their DB, I just said "yeah, that's it."

Works for me.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4042739)

LOL. Trash that database!

Re:I stopped going to Safeway... (3, Interesting)

Komodo (7029) | about 12 years ago | (#4051687)

Innocent prank, or identity theft?
I wonder how well the law draws the line. Doing this with (say) a driver's license should be a crime. But in the current climate, even falsifying your Mickey Mouse Club card number might get you shot.

Re:I stopped going to Safeway... (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 12 years ago | (#4045772)

Sorry man, but MCA and EISA were both approved standards. It's not as if they didn't make licensing available for them on a RAND basis. Maybe you meant some other bus?

Re:I stopped going to Safeway... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4048772)

Same here. But when I started shopping online (I HATE going to the grocery store), they were the option game in town. And since anyone you shop with online is going to track your information, it really makes worrying about the card pointless (even though you still have to signup for a virtual card with a card identification number).

Now I use ALbertsons though. Safeway would be good if they had some fucking PICTURES and DESCRIPTIONS of the fucking food they are selling. How am I supposed to know what "blue forest cheese grt 8oz" is? And when I emailed them to ask about putting up pictures of their stock, they said some day they would. Then six months later they told me "it would cause people's connections to be too slow and crash our servers"...

Whatever... so now I buy online from ALbertsons. And the good thing about albertsons is that they are a Mormon company and it goes against their practice to do the sort of data tracking crap safeway does with their cards. I'm not a mormon (or religious at all).

The New America (1)

DonFinch (584056) | about 12 years ago | (#4040212)

Department of Homland security = Gestapo II

Census Data (2, Interesting)

jteitel (104120) | about 12 years ago | (#4041446)

Isn't census data supposed to be confidential?

Re:Census Data (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4045527)

Only in countries that aren't Police States.

All data collected, exists. If it exists it can be accessed for "justified" reasons. The question is "justified". Well, here's one good example.

Cop says AC informant says you ...

Justification accepted, in full. Cop can do you pretty much do you any way they want to.

And, worse, that was the "old world". Now, for a great many things, they don't even need to put on the charade.

Can't we force them to let us opt-out? (1)

Tyriel (560688) | about 12 years ago | (#4042176)

I've known Lexis-Nexis mostly as a periodical and newspaper search engine (and a gigantic one, at that). Now that they're collecting personal information, don't they have to obey the same laws that (supposedly) outlaw such things as spam and unwanted telemarketing? In other words, don't they have to allow us some means to purge all our personal data from their databases? I was under the impression that this was a federal law, but IANAL.

Makes no difference... (1)

The_Guv'na (180187) | about 12 years ago | (#4042255)


Even with this database, or even "a national pizza delivery ID, complete with thumbprint and DNA sample", they'll still fsck up the toppings!

Ali

I have a hard time beliving this pizza thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4042463)

Which pizza company would be stupid enough to release their customer data to L/N? I can imagine it, now:

"Okay, so Pizza Hut earns $5000 a day in Market X, while they only earn $100 in Market Y. Great info! Now I know where to open my store - Market Y will kill me, while Market X is full of money!

At least, that's the kind of information that *our* store placement folk would live to have - if we could figure out where their most lucrative markets were from their own data, we wouldn't have to spend so much time doing research as we do . . .

Damnit! (1)

PastorOfMuppets (590944) | about 12 years ago | (#4043730)

When I saw the headline I thought that they finaly decided to implement my idea of useing the police to deliver pizzas. ;)

Re:Damnit! (1)

Heironymus Coward (548839) | about 12 years ago | (#4043849)

o great, not only would the pizza be four hours late, it would be an empty grease-stained box!

Re: Damnit! (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 12 years ago | (#4045190)


> When I saw the headline I thought that they finaly decided to implement my idea of useing the police to deliver pizzas.

Wonder how many apartment maintenance men are undercover cops.

TOP SECRET FACT:Most modern cars have transponder! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4048778)

TOP SECRET FACT:Most modern cars have tracking transponder!

A secret initiative exists to track all funnel-points on interstates and US borders for car tire ID transponders (RFid chips embedded in the tire).

Yup. My brother works on them.

Your tires have a passive coil with 64 to 128 bit serial number emitter in them! (AIAG B-11 ADC v3.0) . A particular frequency energizes it enough so that a receiver can read its little ROM. A ROM which in essence is your GUID for your TIRE. Multiple tires do not confuse the readers. Its almost identical to all "FastPass" "SpeedPass" technologies you see on gasoline keychain dongles and commuter windshield sticker-chips. The US gov has secretly started using these chips to track people.

Its kind of like FBI "Taggants" in fertilizer and "Taggants" in Gasoline and Bullets, and Blackpowder. But these car tire transponder Ids are meant to actively track and trace movement of your car.

I am not making this up. Melt down a high end Firestone, or Bridgestone tire and go through the bits near the rim (sometimes at base of tread) and you will locate the transmitter (similar to 'grain of rice' pet ids and Mobile SpeedPass, but not as high tech as the tollbooth based units). Sokymat LOGI 160, and Sokymat LOGI 120 transponder buttons are just SOME of the transponders found in modern high end car tires. The AIAG B-11 Tire tracking standard is now implemented for all 3rd party transponder manufactures [covered below].

It is for QA and to prevent fraud and "car theft", but the US Customs service uses it in Canada to detect people who swap license plates on cars when doing a transport of contraband on a mule vehicle that normally has not logged enough hours across the border. The customs service and FBI do not yet talk about this, and are starting using it soon.

Photos of chips before molded into tires:

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:TAQIKjBI01g C: www.sokymat.com/sp/applications/tireid.html

(slashdot ruins links, so you will have to remove the ASCII space it insertess usually into the url above to get to the shocking info and photos on the enbedded LOGI 160 chips that the us gov scans when you cross mexican and canadian borders.)

You never heard of it either because nobody moderates on slashdot anymore and this is probably +0 still. It has also never appeared in print before and is very secret.

Californias Fastpass is being upgraded to scan ALL responding car tires in future years upcoming. I-75 may get them next in rural funnel points in Ohio.

http://www.tadiran-telematics.com/products6.html

but the fact is... YOU PROBABLY ALREADY HAVE A RADIO TRANSPONDER not counting your digital cell phone which is routinely silently pulsed in CA bay area each rush hour morning unless turned off (consult Wired Magazine Expose article). Those data point pulses are used by NSA on occasions.

The us FBI with NRO/NSA blessings, has requested us gov make this tire scanning information as secret as the information regarding all us inkjet printers sold in usa in the last 3 years using "yellow" GUID barcode under dark ink regions to serialize printouts to thwart counterfeiting of 20 dollar bills. (30 to 40 percent of ALL California counterfeiting is done using cheap Epson inkjet printers, most purchased with credit cards foolishly). Luckily court dockets divulge the existence of the Epson serial numbers on your printouts... but nobody except a handful of people know about this Tire scanning upgrade to big brother's arsenal.

YOU MUST BUY NEUTRALIZED OR FOREIGN TIRES!!!!! Soon such tires will become illegal to import or manufacture, just as Gasoline must have "Taggants" added or gasoline is illegal, as are non-self-aging 9 mm bullets.

It is currently VERY illegal to buy or disable the "911 help" GPS emitter in digital cell phones in the US or ship a modified phone across state borders, but it is still legal to turn off your cell phone in your car while travelling. As you should. And you should be wary of your tires now too. : http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:TAQIKjBI01gC: www.sokymat.com/sp/applications/tireid.html

Alternatively you could illegally build jamming devices at : 13.56 MHz, + 1,356 MHz +- many freqs (TI-RFid) and a few others. If microwave is ever employed you might not be able to effectively jam but your brain would possibly cook over time, as it now known as of this year that the three harmonic resonances of water are not the only chemical actions harming human tissue at gigaherz frequencies. Jammers would be illegal and violators easy to locate. Tire removal is the only option.

RFIDs have been covertly used and sold by TI for over ten years are in many many products... and now your tires are being read by the us gov as you drive at speeds of up to 100 Mph on primary US interstate corridors. (Actually 160 km/h).

Those same US interstate corridors have radiation detectors too, but a small layer of stacks of interlocked graphite blocks those from detecting stealthy deliveries. Graphite blocks are IDEAL for shipping "dirty bomb" components, I believe.

Anyway, regarding tire radio transmitters: the sokymat LOGI 160, and sokymat LOGI 120) are just SOME of the transponders found in modern tires. The earliest tire radio spy chips had only 64 bit serial numbers but they have rapidly evolved post Sept 11 bombings: LOGI 160 LOGI 120 has 224 bit R/W memory (sokymat.ch) to be marked using external hand help injectors with "salt" info when the fbi tags your parked car.

Basically the FBI "marks your car" without touching it physically, thus eliminating a "warrant" to put a locater on your vehicle. Just as the FBI can listen to you while you are at home by LEGALLY bouncing an infrared beam off your vibrating window pane and modulating the signal, the US Gov can LEGALLY inject (program) a saltable read-write sokymat LOGI eeprom tire chip (and other brands of tire transponders)

Using these chips to track people while they drive is actually the idea of the us gov, and current chips CANNOT BE DISABLED or removed. They hope ALL tires will have these chips in 5 years and hope people have a very hard time finding non-chipped tires. Removing the chips is near impossible without destroying the tire as the chips were designed with that DARPA design goal.

They are hardened against removal or heat damage or easy eye detection and can be almost ANYWHERE in the new "big brother" tires. In fact in current models they are integrated early and deep into the substrate of the tire as per US FBI request.

Our freedom of travel are going away in 2003, because now there is an international STANDARD for all tire transponder RFID chips and in 2004 nearly ALL USA cars will have them. Refer to AIAG B-11 ADC, (B-11 is coincidentally Post Sept 11 fastrack initiative by US Gov to speed up tire chip standardization to one read-back standard for highway usage).

The AIAG is "The Automotive Industry Action Group"

The non proprietary (non-sokymat controlled) standard is the AIAG B-11 standard is the "Tire Label and Radio Frequency Identification" standard

"ADC" stands for "Automatic Data Collection"

The "AIDCW" is the US gov manipulated "Automatic Identification Data Collection Work Group"

The standard was started and finished rapidly in less than a year as a direct consequence of the Sep 11 attacks by Saudi nationals.

I believe detection of the AIAG B-11 radio chips (RFIS serial number transponders) in the upgraded car tracking http://www.tadiran-telematics.com/products6.html is currently secret knowledge. Another reason to leave "finger print on Driver license" California, but Ohio gets it next, as will every other state eventually.

The AIAG is claiming the chips reduce car theft, assist in tracking defects, and assists error-proofing the tire assembly process. But the real secret is that these 5 cent devices are a us government backed initiative to track citizens travel without their consent or ability to disable the transponders in any way.

All tire manufacturers are forced to comply AIAG B-11 3.0 Radio Tire tracking standard by the 2004 model year.

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:-qJPsZjkMAM C: www.aiag.org/publications/b11.html

Viewing b11 synopsis is free, downloads from that are $10 and tracked by the FBI. Use the google cache to avoid leaving breadcrumbs.

And just as showerheads are now illegal to import into the USA from Canada or mexico, as are drums of industrial Freon, and standard size toilets are illegal to import for home use, soon car tires without radio transponders will be illegal to bring across state borders.

The US gov is getting away with this. You read it here first.

Learn and read.

My Advice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 12 years ago | (#4051599)

Ask your mental health care professional to up your Thorazine(TM) dosage and double the foil on your aluminum beanie.

This is why you use "special" cards... (2)

camusflage (65105) | about 12 years ago | (#4062539)

I have a few dozen cards for Giant Eagle courtesy of their online form [gianteagle.com] . Conveniently, it even gives you a bar-coded "card" to print and use.
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