Thursday, September 7, 2006

No Problem with Data Collection and Privacy?

It seems to me that too many people are unconcerned about the erosion of our privacy rights, and the data collection that is going on every minute of every day - not only by the government, but by private businesses. My point in all of this, aside from the simple and obvious constitutional violations when the government is involved is that the collection of such data is dangerous because that data will be abused.

And now it starts, Hewlett Packard is being investigated for purchasing, reviewing and investigating the private cell phone records of its own board members. Folks are calling for the head of HP Chairwoman Patricia Dunn, criminal charges are being considered. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said "I don't have a settled view on whether it was illegal yet, but it certainly was colossally stupid."

Other comments from the article

Peter Morici, professor at the Professor Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland: If the chairman thinks this is the way business ought to be conducted, maybe it's time for her to take a sabbatical. It's arrogant and inappropriate.

John W. Dienhart, business ethics professor at Seattle University: This sends a message to employees that the company is willing to do just about anything to protect itself... [t]his sends a bad message to existing employees, and it's bad for attracting good employees from outside the organization.

Still think the government employees are not going to abuse the records that they have to further their own political, business or personal interests? Are the days of Watergate, Hoover and domestic spying so far behind us that we have forgotten how far government and business leaders will go to further their own agenda?

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