McNealy -- Get over it, Part Two (was Re: BNA's Internet LawNews (ILN) - 05/30/2001)

Arnold G. Reinhold reinhold at
Thu May 31 15:15:09 EDT 2001

At 4:54 PM +0100 5/31/2001, Matthew Pemble wrote:
>"Arnold G. Reinhold" wrote:
>> <snip> Why do I have to be tracked 7/24?
>> Arnold Reinhold
>You don't.  You (and I) should have the choice, whether it is to use
>another car leasing company or another mobile phone service provider.
>Scott also should have the choice.

As I understand the new FCC E911 rules, we soon 
won't have a choice, at least in the U.S. Mobile phones will be 
required to include tracking capability, supposedly to allow faster 
response to 911 calls.  Again, there is no reason microprocessor in 
the phone couldn't detect a 911 call and send out a position report 
only then, but we will probably be tracked whenever the phone is on. 
At least there is a law limiting what the phone companies can do with 
this data (47USC222), but I don't expect law enforcement, at least, 
to have any trouble accessing it.

Second, I'm not sure I buy the choice argument. What happens, for 
example, when auto insurers demand that you have car tracking on at 
all times? A little database listing speed limits on all roads, the 
location of stop sign, etc. would make it easy to spot unsafe 
drivers. Add in the location of bar parking lots, adult book stores, 
neighborhoods where drugs are dealt, etc. and the insurance company 
can reduce its risks even further. You say switch to an insurer that 
doesn't make those demands? Try finding health insurance that doesn't 
make you sign away your rights to control access to your medical 

>I suppose we ought to remember that we are concerned about encroaching
>invasion of privacy not for its own sake, but to prevent more serious
>breaches of privacy.  If you can afford as many lawyers as Scott to cya,
>maybe you can afford to care somewhat less than us peons?

If anything Scott is at more risk. Think kidnappers. Think 
terrorists. Think insider trading ("Scott has visited ZorchCorp twice 
in the last week, time to buy!"). And he better not have a mistress. 
Of course the real reason Scott is saying "Get over it" is that he 
estimated how many servers will be needed to collect, store and 
data-mine all this tracking info.

Arnold Reinhold

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