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Re: "Matchcode" technology sparks privacy flames.....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 22 Sep 1997 09:36:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Julie DeFalco <[email protected]>
To: Declan McCullagh <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: "Matchcode" technology sparks privacy flames.....

1)  CEI's position on this stuff, in a nutshell, is that the only things the
government should worry about on the Internet are the traditional things
that the government ought to worry about: enforcing rule of law and private
property rights.  The government should not run around making up excuses to
regulate privacy preferences on the internet.  For a full exposition of our
position, feel free to check out our filings on the FTC web page (www.ftc.gov).

The biggest problem in my mind was that the FTC was talking about a medium
that is pretty new and still has a lot of growing pains.  The FTC wants to
get in on the ground floor of regulation and direct the development of the
Internet -- that's industrial policy and should be called that so at least
we're all talking about the same thing. 

 Meanwhile, lots of folks find it easier to cry out for a new regulation,
rather than negotiate a solution among conflicting interests, which is time
consuming and messy.  This happens in all other industries, so it's not
surprising that such pressure has emerged here.  After all, regulators need
an excuse for their jobs, and outside groups calling for more regulation
often have the opportunity to direct how the regulation is written and
implemented (in other words, they can gain power and access to power).

I think that the problems discussed at the hearing are not only outside the
proper sphere of government (actually, the FTC in my mind is outside the
proper sphere of government), but that most of those problems would be
eventually worked out in time. 

2)>>>>One of the main assertions made by both sides in the privacy
>>>>is people must be informed when a third party is gathering
>>>>information about them.

No, I never said that.  I said that if you release information about
yourself into a public sphere, then you have no right to control the
downstream use of that information (because that is essentially controlling
the behavior of others).  I said that in terms of companies' web pages, it
would probably be a good idea to inform people of this action.  And that
without a law, or even without government pushing, it would happen anyway.

3) Re: the gossip question:  I was going to write what Declan said, only he
said it much better.  I don't think that you or anybody can properly draw a
line between how much gossip is "too much" gossip, and when one should "draw
a line."

Maybe we know "too much gossip" when we see it, but do you really want to
cede that much control over the speech and actions of others to a judge?

That's it for now.