Opinion: It’s MY data.

Congress wants to pass a law that would "require businesses to tell customers immediately if they believe that customer data has been compromised." This is as a result of several well and not-so-well publicized thefts of personal data, such as the Choicepoint scandal.

Unfortunately, the proposed law, while a good idea, will not solve the problem. The data from Choicepoint was not stolen – it was sold. Most of the people affected did not know that Choicepoint had their data, if they had even heard of the company.

From Bruce Schneier: The hundreds of millions of people in ChoicePoint's databases are not ChoicePoint's customers. They have no power to switch credit agencies. They have no economic pressure that they can bring to bear on the problem. Maybe they should rename the company "NoChoicePoint."What I would like to see here is the introduction of a mandatory -plain-English privacy policy that states what data is collected, who collects it, who stores it, who owns it. To whom they can pass it on, and what toll-free number you can call to have it corrected, changed or removed.

The fundamental question here is one of data ownership – who owns your data.

Big business – and Government – wants to be able to collect, store and sell your data without your permission. Your data is their asset, and in my book that is just plain wrong.

Sadly, as long as these guys are plying our representatives with bribes – sorry, campaign finance contributions – nothing will change.

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