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Quote of the Day - For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three. - Alice Kahn
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Where, Oh Where Has Our Privacy Gone?

How has technology affected your privacy?  Can you tell?  The Electronic Frontier Foundation can.  They've cracked a code of practically invisible yellow dots applied to paper printed on color printers.  The code was created by government and printer manufacturers and designed to thwart counterfeiters.  But it does much more.  Those that know the code can identify the very printer used to print each piece of paper and where and when you printed the page.  While it may have application only to counterfeiters, it also has many other uses.

Cell phones, likewise, now broadcast your location if you dial 911, and those with the sophisticated equipment necessary can also track your whereabouts.  It's quite similar to the technology applied to monitor trucks as they move (or don't move) across the country.

Laptops, too.  Connect one to the internet, and the owner can find out exactly where it's located if it's been stolen.  Or used by one of your employees.  It's called LoJack laptop.  In-office computers can be monitored, with screen snapshots taken practically every second and recorded for viewing later.

What about your television habits?  Yes, those too, especially since your laptop/PVP can connect with your TIVO to allow you to watch TV wherever you may be.  We've all watched enough crime shows to know that tracking telephone calls is passe' to the point we don't give it any thought.  Software is serialized and it identifies itself (along with the number of times that you've installed it) directly to the manufacturer over the internet. 

Is nothing sacred?  What laws protect the use of this information?  According to the EFF, none so far.  Do we need any, or are there just too many numbers to worry about?

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Tuesday, October 25, 2005 at 10:33 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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