How much does your state government know about you?
(FEDERALJACK) “There are a lot of “big brother” types of news stories or columns in the media, and obviously, I don’t post all of them to my blog. But this one by Mike Myer in a West Virginia publication, The Intelligencer, is a terrific example of why the public should be concerned – or at least more aware – of how states compile detailed dossiers on us that may include incorrect information that can then either be used against us or can make things more difficult for us.
Just because states and the federal government can compile detailed dossiers of the details of our lives doesn’t mean they should. Who’s reining in this over-exuberant and troubling over-collection of often-incorrect information? While Congress debates legislation that would allow us to discover what information is available about us in databases and provide a mechanism to correct it, the burden seemingly remains on individuals. Why should we have to spend our time and money ensuring that some commercial database that profits from our information got it correct? Shouldn’t that be part of their cost of doing business? Details on my income and the careers of myself and my wife, along with lots more information about how I get my money and how I spend it (tax returns). Perhaps, through the state Department of Education, officials may still have information on what I studied in school and how well I performed there.
This is only slightly less than scary, folks. The state instantly knows more about me than I can recall easily.
It’s bad enough all that is available to who knows how many people in state government. But I suspect a moderately capable computer hacker could get the details on me, too – and then he would be off to the races with identity theft.”
Amicus brief concerning privacy information: http://epic.org/amicus/tolentino/Tolentino_Final.pdf