Big Joe Silenced
A Creeping Private-Sector “Checkpoint Society”—And A Small Step to Protect Your Privacy -
A Creeping Private-Sector “Checkpoint Society”—And A Small Step to Protect Your Privacy
"I was at a Target store recently and threw a bottle of wine in my cart to bring as a gift to a party. Later, when I got to the register, the cashier asked to see my ID. That in itself was silly, because it’s safe to say I’m a few years past the point where anyone might mistake me for someone under 21. But whatever; alcohol age-enforcement has gotten bureaucratic beyond all reason. I held the ID up for her to see. Before I could react, she took my license from my fingers, held it up to a scanner, and BEEP! Presto: all the information on my license (I had to assume) was flashed into Target Corporation’s computer system. In my state that includes height, weight, sex, date of birth, full legal name, address, driver’s license number, need for corrective lenses, and organ donor status. Some states’ licenses contain even more information. But the only thing the cashier really needed was to see the year of birth on my license—actually, just the last two digits would be enough. “I didn’t give you permission to do that!” I objected to her. But the deed was done." - Big Joe Silenced from Bookmarklet
"There are a lot of permissionless seizures of our private information taking place these days, but usually they don’t take such a physical form. Target’s privacy policy, unlike many companies’, does address not only their web site but also their offline practices. But (like so many other companies’) it is so broad that it imposes few restrictions on what they do." - Big Joe Silenced