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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Protecting Your Name and Personal Data in Seattle

I just returned from Seattle where I ran into some great talk radio: the Dave Ross Show on KIRO. Looking for some commentary on junk mail, breaches of personal data or identity theft, I finally landed at 710 on the dial, right in the middle of a discussion on Seattle’s road building and general transportation problems. Now, being from Arizona, you would think I would just keep on surfing, but I didn’t. Dave’s handling of the subject and the quality of responses convinced me to hang around his spot for the nine-day stay.

I was there with my wife, Barbara, who was attending classes in Auburn, for Linda Tellington’s T-TOUCH. This is a form of animal training, involving a method of light touches, administered to address certain issues of the animal, thus, improving behavior and quality of life. It works! Barb is having great success here in Arizona, and plans to complete the first phase of her companion animal training in Auburn, this November.

After returning to Arizona, I decided to e-mail Dave Ross and see how he felt about the concept of consumers having 100% control over their name and personal data. He wrote me back and said he was very interested in the idea of the individual being paid for the use of his or her name and private information. Tina Nole, his Producer, coordinated the rest and we were on-the-air last Wednesday, July 20, at 3 PM.

Following discussions between Dave and me, which covered everything from the necessary exceptions in the federal legislation I am proposing (homeland security, some medical and financial situations), to how the concept is affected by the 1st Amendment (non issue in my book, because consumers should rightfully be able to control something that is this private), Dave then took calls from listeners.

The first was a fellow who worked at the Post Office, worried that this idea would eliminate his job. I explained that the attraction of the royalty to be made from the sale of a person’s name and personal data would no doubt lure some of the 45% of the population that does not yet shop by junk mail and probably serve to retain most of the 55% that does.

Dave asked about what could be expected in a year as payment for selling your name and personal data, which amounts to about $60. The rest of the callers were adamant in their dislike of junk mail and not real sure money would quell this position. I countered with the fact that my concept is a long-range plan, based on sharing one-half of the annual take by junk mailers for selling names and private information in the amount of $4 billion. It could be a supplement to Social Security with $2 billion each year invested for the long haul.

The outcome was good. Seattle got an idea of what is possible, if they join my grass roots effort. Dave Ross told me, on the air, that he felt I have an up-hill battle, and I do. There aren’t many causes that affect so many consumers, as well as the business community, that don’t have a tough fight. I’ve always been a maverick, especially when I know I am right, and this is an issue in which my research also tells me I am right.

I just want to thank Dave Ross and his KIRO staff for realizing the importance of this issue and giving me the time on his top-rated talk show to voice my opinions. LISTEN! Seattle: KIRO Radio, 710 on the dial, the Dave Ross Show, Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 PM.

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