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Re: EU Privacy Directive

At 09:39 AM 10/20/98 +0200, [email protected] wrote:
>Those who are affected in the first place are US companies who
>are used to collect and process personal data from their customers
>without any embarrassment. They will be excluded from
>the European market, if they do not follow European Data
>Protection rules. 
>Until now the US goverment has decided to leave this matter 
>to self regulation. However, US industry did not manage to 
>come up with an appropriate codex. 

The big problem in the US isn't the government's failure to
tell big companies what protection to provide for their transactions -
it's their insistence on adding more and more requirements 
that businesses, especially banks, and local governments,
collect and retain information that makes data correlation simpler,
and creation of database systems that collect more information.
The most common are the requirement for SSNs as a tax-collection ID
for banks and employers, and the use of the SSN for Medicare
making it simplest for medical insurance companies to use it as an ID.
Then of course there's the near-universal requirement for
collecting SSNs in return for drivers' licenses,
and "deadbeat dad databases" that require employers to register new employees
in government databases, even those of us who are neither dads nor deadbeats.
Once all your transactions have personal identifiers on them,
it's nearly trivial to track everything that you do.
Bill Stewart, [email protected]
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