Saturday, June 18, 2011

New Privacy Laws we need

Technology has created many new problems, and we need to update our privacy laws.

Let me state that I love cops.  They do a very hard job.  But just as about 1% of Americans are criminals, so about 1% of cops are criminals.  We can't let the few criminal cops get away with hurting innocent people.  AWhile I think anyone ...'open' enough to use Facebook deserves the privacy invasion they offer, I don't consider it to be illegal, just an incredibly expensive service.  Just because it costs no money, doesn't mean it is 'free' - if I were to offer you a free year of World of Warcraft in exchange for incriminating photos, your name, email, friends emails etc. you would probably reject the offer.  Finally, Identity theft is becoming a problem not because it is becoming more prevalent, but because the consequences are much worse.

For these reasons, there are certain privacy rules that need to be established in the new modern age:

  1. Any government official, including police, that is talking to or interacting with the public has ZERO right of privacy.  If the cop knows a civilian can hear them, they know they are not private and therefore that civilian has the right to record them.  The very act of doing your job with the public means you recognize you have no expectation of privacy.  Attempting to arrest someone for photographing, filming, or recording a public official doing their job in public is wrong. It is just intimidation to allow them (the public official) to break the law.  Said public official should be arrested themselves for trying to intimidate the civilian.  Minimam jail time 1 year.   Maximum jail time, 5 years.  
  2. If a person ceases to use a service (and sends either an electronic or paper notification) that service is required by law to destroy all 'non-business transaction' records.  That is, they can keep records of money paid and services/products bought,  along with the name of the person and a physical address/phone number.  But they can not retain any private, identifying information such as email, the the full credit card number (partial number could be retained to identify which card was used), browser information (including search histories, IP addresses, personal settings, etc.
  3. If someone has had a case of Identity Theft, they can request a special "Replacement Social Security Number"  (right now you can not change the one you have.).  Doing so requires you to be photographed, fingerprinted, give a DNA sample, and costs $100.   Such a system would be entirely optional, and it would be forbidden by law to require someone to get or use this RSSN for anything.  If you do this, then you can get a new identity and it requires a Judge's ruling to put any bad credit reports attached to the old SSN on the new RSSN.

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