New Privacy Rights May Be Buried in "Junk" Mail


Now is not the time to toss junk mail and ignore inserts in your bank and credit card statements. "Watch your mail!" says Tena Friery, research director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Because of a new federal law, financial institutions are now mailing notices to consumers containing important information about their privacy rights. "Failure to pay attention to these privacy notices may result in sensitive financial data being sold to other companies for marketing and other purposes," warns Friery.

Privacy Today: A Review of Current Issues


The purpose of this report is to highlight and summarize key privacy issues affecting consumers today and tomorrow. Readers who want to explore issues in depth should visit the Web sites of government agencies, public interest groups, industry associations, and companies. A list of public interest groups that are working on these issues is provided at the end of the report.

Public Access to Electronic Case Files


We recognize the convenience to the courts and counsel in electronic filing, the need to reduce paper files, and the long-standing principles of public access to court proceedings. However, the PRC and EFF believe the potential for both intangible invasions of privacy by those who have no need to know and more tangible harms such as identity theft outweigh reliance on a system that provides full access to court records electronically. Convenience and storage problems in this electronic age need to be addressed, but hopefully in such a way as to protect not only the public interest by providing access to public records, but to protect privacy interests as well.

A Fingerprint to Rent a Car? An Ex-Customer Says "No" (Amato)


At Dollar Rent A Car ("Dollar Makes Sense.®") in Midway Airport, Chicago, I tried to rent a car but was refused only because I would not give the corporation my thumbprint. According to the "Frequently Asked Questions About Thumb Printing Procedures" sheet the representative pulled out when I started to ask why I had to provide a print of my anatomy to rent a car, I was told this procedure was to identify those who engage in fraudulent rentals and theft.

Lost in the Fine Print: Readability of Financial Privacy Notices (Hochhauser)


Readability analyses of 60 financial privacy notices found that they are written at a 3rd-4th year college reading level, instead of the junior high school level that is recommended for materials written for the general public. Consumers will have a hard time understanding the notices because the writing style uses too many complicated sentences and too many uncommon words.

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