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05/13/2005 Entry: "Zabasearch roundup"

"Suppose there were a website that allowed you - at no charge -- to find out the following information for virtually any person in the United States: The addresses where he or she lived over the past ten years or so; what his or her phone numbers were (unlisted or not) over that same period; and what year he or she was born.

"Interested in what the houses someone lived in look like - including the current one? The website would let you click on their address, access an overhead satellite photo of their neighborhood, and even zoom in on their particular house."
Can We Stop Zabasearch -- and Similar Personal Information Search Engines?: When Data Democratization Verges on Privacy Invasion, by Anita Ramasastry, FindLaw, May. 12, 2005

"No security system is perfect and no security system will ever take away our innate freedoms. Only force and the resulting fear can do that. As we see from today’s Zabasearch rumblings and similar outcries, all the data anyone could ever need to track and trace you is already commercially available. The Real ID Act will affect us all in invisible ways. Will it change much? Probably not. But a step in any direction towards a more sane and intelligent discussion of data collection and misuse on any level suggests, in a culture of hope, that we can still expect some of those steps to be steps forward."
Real ID Act Almost Passed, Gizmodo.com, May 6, 2005

"The News on 6 went to Kaffe Bona, an Internet cafe in south Tulsa. Customers there were shocked to see the same search will also bring up satellite photos of your house, detailed enough to count the cars in your driveway and to see if anyone's playing in the backyard. Michael Johns: 'I can check out what kind of ride you have at your house, and how many dogs.' Joseph MacKenzie: 'It almost makes me laugh because my mom used to give me directions based upon trees, barns and houses, so this is almost like going back to that, but it's also unsettling to see the rest of it's out there, your numbers and birthdates, whether you're on the Internet or not.'"
Zabasearch.com, KOTV News on 6, May 11, 2005

Anita Ramasastry writes about "digial dossiers" being kept on all of us. Zabasearch, Axciom, and Alpharetta (ChoicePoint) are just a few of the ones we know about.

Edit 6/07/05: Interview with the founder at Wired News, May 6, 2005.

 

 

 

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