Big Brother is Indeed Watching!



2004 Sharon Hughes


Invasion of privacy is a subject that, well, makes me upset. How about you? There are certain inalienable rights that are clearly self-evident, and one of those is the right to privacy. Another one is the right of personal property, of which your finances, computer, and mail, including emails, are a part. When manufacturers build something into a product that violates our privacy without telling us, or internet hackers and pirates invade our computer to read our emails or steal our credit card information...it makes me mad! This is a major violation of privacy as all thievery is. If banks want to put all our personal information on a Smart Card they should communicate this clearly and get our permission before they do it. That's what integrity and valuing a person's privacy would do. GM should tell potential buyers everything about the OnStar system, including that it has a passive listening device which can allow their conversations to be heard...but then, how many cars with OnStar would sell if customers understood someone would or could be listening?
I hope everyone made that important call a few months ago to remove your name from telemarketers' lists. The constant phone calls at dinner time and throughout the day are the least of concerns. Did you know that after a telemarketer wears you down enough to buy what he is selling, he can directly charge your account without having to get your signature or credit card number. How? Before he called you he conveniently "preacquired" your account number from your bank which, of course, gets some of the profit, to "make it simple" for you. Can this be a problem? Well, let me give you just one example...
In 1999 the Attorney General of Minnesota discovered that in one year's time a certain bank had to cancel 173,543 membership plans, policies, and other purchases which were charged to the accounts of their customers who did not authorize them...such as an 80 year old retired janitor who was charged for a home insurance plan, although he lived in a nursing home; an auto club membership, although he had no car; and a dental plan, even though he had...no teeth! This is not only outrageous! It's absolutely criminal. 


If you want more information on this topic be sure tune in this week to hear my interview with Cyberwar Expert, Charles Smith, on "Information Warfare - Invasion of your privacy" by going to www.changingworldviews.com ,click on the Archived Shows link and then scroll down to our 1/19/04 broadcast.