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The following discussion thread excerpt is from an ongoing law.com online seminar, “Privacy 101: Everything You Need to Know & More,” moderated by Parry Aftab of Darby & Darby. For more information on this program and other law.com seminar offerings please visit www.law.com/seminars BONUS: In addition to substantive discussions from our set seminar panel, look for bonus “guest speakers” to drop in on the seminar at designated times to stir up the dialogue even more. Guest speakers include top in-house privacy law and business operation experts and leading experts from the hardware, software, advocacy, regulatory and policy development fields. KEVIN CHAPMAN, DOW JONES & COMPANY, PRINCETON, N.J. I saw a story that law enforcement officials had special digital cameras at the entrances to the Super Bowl, where they snapped pictures of all entering fans. The images were fed into the FBI’s database, to search for matches with known criminals. I guess the idea was to catch fugitives who might be attending the game, or to otherwise track the movements of suspected criminals. Does anyone have a problem with this? I assume there was no disclaimer on the ticket stub: “Warning: Entry to the game constitutes consent to having your identity tracked by the FBI.” ANONYMOUS If you believe there is a significant difference with respect to a person’s expectation of privacy when appearing in public, where your image may be recorded by a local news station, the FBI, or a fan with a video camera, as opposed to having personal information recorded for one purpose, then sold/used for another without that person’s knowledge/consent [the first raises concerns that 'big brother' is always watching; the other seems insidious even if the use of the information collected is innocuous], is there a legally defined line drawn between the two? KEVIN CHAPMAN Anonymous’ post raises the issue of what constitutes “public” vs. “private” action. I suppose that if you go out shopping, an agent from the Acme consumer marketing company could follow you around — look over your shoulder as you browse the aisles of the store, and take notes about what you actually purchase, and how you pay for it, then report back to HQ with all the day’s data about you and your shopping/buying activity. Putting aside anti-stalking laws, this behavior would be lawful, but isn’t likely to happen. But, when you are online, everything you do is being monitored and watched — and you should consider yourself to be in a “public” place — just like walking into the Super Bowl. The fact that the gathering of electronic information about people is so easy is what allows it to happen. The fact that it happens is what prompts concerns — and eventually regulation. Should the regulation target the gathering of the information? Its use? Its sale/transfer to other companies? To the government? Those are the issues. ANONYMOUS Recently in San Jose, Calif., a drugstore clerk developing photos contacted the police when she saw photos of guns, bombs, etc. In this case, the photographer did have an arsenal that he [allegedly] planned to use in an attack on a college the next day. However, what expectations of privacy should photographers have when they drop off their rolls of film? DEBORAH PIERCE, ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. With regard to the Super Bowl issue, I think while it is true that we generally have no expectation of privacy in a public area, we generally are not expecting to be photographed as we go about our daily activities. I’ve heard that this type of surveillance is being planned for the Olympics … if the planners post a notice alerting people to the fact that they will be photographed and their pictures matched against criminal mug shots, most people will ‘consent’ to the process. After all, they have just spent a large amount of money for a ticket to the event (not to mention hotel and plane fares); they aren’t likely to turn around and leave. A result of this is that people get even more used to being surveilled in this way. PARRY AFTAB, DARBY & DARBY, NEW YORK, N.Y. I think we need to recognize the fact that we are under surveillance daily, at traffic lights, toll booths, streetcams … . My mother always used to warn me to wear clean underwear when going out in public, never knowing if you would be hit by a truck, and seen in an emergency room. Perhaps we need to think about wearing makeup and making sure we’re presentable, never knowing when our videos will end up on the desk of the local law enforcement agencies. Do we have any privacy? Should we? Maybe we all need dark glasses. DAVID JOHNSON, WILMER, CUTLER & PICKERING, WASHINGTON, D.C. The real threat is systematic collection of a dossier of your online life — or, for everyone, scanning of “public” activity, to create a searchable record, without any reason established in advance. Note that this has nothing at all to do with developing non-personally identifiable profiles for purposes of marketing. We need to begin to “unpack” the privacy issue a bit, so we can talk about activities that really do threaten our way of life separately from those that do not. DEBORAH PIERCE One comment about those “non-identifiable” profiles that companies are creating. I went to a Computers, Freedom and Privacy (CFP) conference a couple of years ago and heard about a study that was done: with two data points (ZIP code and birth date) the person who did the study was able to uniquely identify more than 85 percent of the population of Cambridge, Mass. They were able to take the data points and match them to public records — in this case voter records, as I recall. DARLENE TESTER, ESPIRIA, MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. This is how identity theft has grown so quickly. I don’t need a lot of information about you: Only a birth date, a ZIP code, a name with middle initial, even a telephone number will get me a long ways down the road to recreating your identity for my use.

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