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- Subject: Profiling (fwd)
- From: Stanton McCandlish <[email protected]>
- Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 13:12:48 -0400 (EDT)
- Cc: [email protected] (alt.privacy), [email protected] (alt.society.resistance), [email protected] (alt.politics.datahighway), [email protected] (comp.org.cpsr.talk), [email protected], [email protected] ([email protected]), [email protected] (alt.activism.d)
- Sender: [email protected]
At Lee's request, I'm forwarding this note to several relevant forums.
- [email protected]
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 1994 06:15:37 -0600
From: [email protected] (Lee Knoper)
Reply-To: [email protected]
Here's a situation in which "profiling" by a government agency is
already causing a problem.
Recall that recently on <eff-activists) there was brief discussion
regarding the use of "profiles" in advertising efforts, in the context
of interactive TV.
Some participants favored what was perceived as a probable improvement
in the efficiency of such advertising. Others saw distinct dangers,
especially if profiles were marketed or traded among private sector
entities, or if government became more involved.
This particular situation is quite disturbing because it involves a
state tax agency, and as everyone can appreciate, here is an example
of where one is effectively presumed guilty until proven innocent, and
is subject to asset seizure pending resolution as well as possible
A correspondent is trying to defend himself against some aggressive
actions by the AZ Department of Revenue. He has discovered that AZ
Revised Statutes section 42-117 permits the DoR, at its discretion, to
assess a personal income tax which is based on a "statistically valid
sampling method." Although this option is seldom used, it is being
applied in his case due to partial loss of records during a move.
In other words, your AZ tax can be based on your profile, irrespective
of your income or expenses.
Worse, AZ DoR cites ARS 42-113 through -115 as requiring one to keep
records for four years after filing. Yet it asserts that there is no
statute of limitations for audits - it can audit a filing at any time,
and can presumably apply the statistical sampling method retroactively
if it so desires.
Obviously, this situation goes well beyond profiling to determine who
to audit. These and other, equally onerous provisions comprise a pit
of despair. Ironically, DoR asserts that "all laws are presumed to be
The U.S. military is also involved in profiling, which is probably not
much of a surprise because the military is often used as a test bed
for social engineering experiments anyway.
New ID is being issued to retired and current members of the military
and their dependents, and to commissioned officers in the U.S. Public
Health Service. The new ID is replete with a digitized photo, two bar
codes and what amounts to a kind of PIN linked to the SSAN. It is
intended to be machine-readable and linked to local and central
It's also a bit of an eye-opener to note that it is expected to
replace ID used for -other- than official business as well, like club
cards and health care access cards. If it's not in your profile or if
the money is not in your account, you can't do_it/have_it. Moreover,
you'll probably get automatically reported for followup investigation
to determine willfulness and intent.
Does unrestrained profiling start to look a little ugly by now? It
ought to. If there's money to be made, or power to be wielded,
neither Constitutional law nor existing statutory law holds much sway.