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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Iraq War Not Only 2006 Election Message

Privacy Issue Was a Factor looked at the election, and found that between the Iraq war and the trillion-dollar deficit, voters were also concerned over their privacy. The article mentions identity theft as a potentially important issue in the 110th Congress, compared to the abysmal attention given this controversial problem by the bungling bunch in the 109th GOP controlled session. They even suggest that Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) might have lost votes to Democrat Sherrod Brown because DeWine approved of the NSA spying.

“Worst Data Bill Ever” Congressman Retains Seat

Rep. Steve LaTourette held on to his seat, even though he had introduced identity theft legislation that favored business heavily over the consumer. He was also instrumental in blocking state laws that allow the individual to freeze their credit data in fraud situations. Go figure. The 109th did hastily put through a bill making pretexting—posing as someone you aren’t to get another’s personal data—a criminal offense. It took a major upheaval at Hewlett Packard, eventually forcing Chairwoman Patricia Dunn out of her job.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Holds More Hearings

It would seem to me that we’ve heard enough with over 350 data breaches—since ChoicePoint’s debut in early 2005—totaling more than 94 million consumer private records lost, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. Stop the hearings and start the legislation that will give consumers control over their names and personal data, and also pay them whenever it is sold.

The FTC story appeared in DM News, a junk mail industry publication that also reported participation at the hearing by Jeff Fox of Consumer Reports. Fox says a CR survey found that 72 percent of the public are concerned over the security of their private information. He also exclaims that CR is becoming more aggressive with their consumer coverage, a statement that makes me wonder why they haven’t taken the lead advocating individual control. A few years ago they actually declared that they felt consumers owned their financial data.

The Focus is on a Democratic Congress

Regardless of your political leanings, now is the time to let Congress know that your privacy is, in fact, a very important issue to you. If we’re ever going to get this grass-roots movement going, it will be in the next two years. Big Brother Bush may veto any privacy legislation, but then we’ll just have to replace the GOP in the White House in 2008. Contact your congressional leaders: House of Representatives; Senate.

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