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Waiving Our Rights: The Personal Data Collection Complex and Its Threat to Privacy and Civil Liberties

Waiving Our Rights: The Personal Data Collection Complex and Its Threat to Privacy and Civil Liberties

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Описание
The United States is not a police state, but Congress is subject to special interest lobbying that can result in abusive private sector commercial practices that leave a lot to be desired for their transparency and accountability. It is illegal, for example, to data-mine personal data files held by government agencies, schools and universities, or medical facilities for commercial purposes. It is illegal to collect and publish defamatory gossip and hearsay about private citizens. At the same time, it is legal to oblige Americans to “waive” their rights to privacy, or to sue for defamation by anonymous third-parties, in order to apply for employment or for essential services. As a result, the personal data collection industry can collect secret proprietary files on every man, woman, and teenager in the United Statesa??affecting essentially all applications for employment, credit, housing, public utilities, telephone and mobile phone service, internet access, and even cable TV connection. The law does require “notice and consent” whenever these “waivers” are called for in employment applications. But those that rely on them have learned to use deceptive methods to avoid drawing the attention of applicants to the consequences of their “waivers.” Recent law dispenses even with the “notice and consent” requirement for a consumer reporting agency to communicate with an employer with respect to suspected misconduct relating to employment or compliance with any law or regulation. The author questions the validity of any such “waivers,” and seeks to alert Americans to the need to protect these fundamental rights.