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MacRumors
Nov 19, 2007, 12:42 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

An Uneasysilence.com article (http://uneasysilence.com/archive/2007/11/12686/) has stirred some controversy by pointing out that Apple's Stocks and Weather widgets on the iPhone include the user's IMEI code when making requests to Apple's servers.

The IMEI code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMEI) a uniquely identifying number for each phone.

Now, the conspiracy theorists suggest that Apple can now track your stock habits, but your own personal opinion on this discovery may vary.

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/iphone/2007/11/19/iphone-imei-tracking/)



Squonk
Nov 19, 2007, 12:49 PM
Or worse yet, people can track me by my weather inquiries. Point to self: always look up weather for multiple cities to keep the stalkers at bay... :D

Gav
Nov 19, 2007, 12:55 PM
The more worrying thing I suppose would be if you were using a non-AT&T network to browse the web. A quick IP WHOIS lookup will tell you the originating ISP, so if you were browsing on an unlocked iPhone, Apple could easily tell.

ogee
Nov 19, 2007, 01:08 PM
Yes, but you could be roaming.

chr1s60
Nov 19, 2007, 01:19 PM
Why do I care if Apple knows what stocks or weather I am following? Couldn't AT&T just as easily look and find out where my last call was made? I personally have multiple cities in my weather app, only one of which I live in. I also have multiple stocks in my stocks app, some I own and some I am just watching. The only thing I could possibly see Apple using this for is to see what cities are getting a lot of iPhone use. That stat could possibly tell Apple the areas that would be more likely to buy new Apple products. I don't think this is a big deal.

dborja
Nov 19, 2007, 01:27 PM
Why do I care if Apple knows what stocks or weather I am following? Couldn't AT&T just as easily look and find out where my last call was made? I personally have multiple cities in my weather app, only one of which I live in. I also have multiple stocks in my stocks app, some I own and some I am just watching. The only thing I could possibly see Apple using this for is to see what cities are getting a lot of iPhone use. That stat could possibly tell Apple the areas that would be more likely to buy new Apple products. I don't think this is a big deal.

+1. No big deal here either if they do care to monitor what stocks I watch and which cities I check weather on.

jaydub
Nov 19, 2007, 01:30 PM
I guess I'm a little confused why people are so passive about this. I'm not one of those people who feels like my ever freedom is being infringed upon, but I certainly don't want all my actions to be watched by my cellphone provider.

RichP
Nov 19, 2007, 01:36 PM
Who cares...other websites and internet services log your IP. At most, this is a simple security measure for apple so non-iphones are not able to access their weather and stock services.

Somebody alert me when Apple does something with iphone that is truly different. People complain about activation, pricing, etc etc etc when it is just like any other phone that was released before it in most regards.

SilentPanda
Nov 19, 2007, 01:39 PM
IMEI has no relation to you the subscriber.

chriswheat
Nov 19, 2007, 01:39 PM
The more worrying thing I suppose would be if you were using a non-AT&T network to browse the web. A quick IP WHOIS lookup will tell you the originating ISP, so if you were browsing on an unlocked iPhone, Apple could easily tell.

Ridiculous. What if I'm browsing from the Wi-Fi in my house? Will Apple come after me because they think I unlocked my phone and now Comcast is my mobile provider?

asherman13
Nov 19, 2007, 01:40 PM
I called AppleCare (via 1-800-MYIPHONE) yesterday to get a replacement set of headphones; the clicker isn't working. Anyways, the lady asked for my IMEI number along with my phone number, e-mail address used to set up the iPhone, etc. before asking what the problem was.

Significance?

daze
Nov 19, 2007, 01:41 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3A109a Safari/419.3)

Don't care at all.

crees!
Nov 19, 2007, 01:42 PM
Honestly, I don't have an iPhone, yet, but I really don't care. And for those who cry for personal privacy... wake up and join reality.

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 01:44 PM
I guess I'm a little confused why people are so passive about this. I'm not one of those people who feels like my ever freedom is being infringed upon, but I certainly don't want all my actions to be watched by my cellphone provider.Not all of AT&T's network is NAT'ed, and it certainly isn't encrypted throughout the data path.

So in a nutshell, your actions can be watched by anybody.

Ridiculous. What if I'm browsing from the Wi-Fi in my house? Will Apple come after me because they think I unlocked my phone and now Comcast is my mobile provider?Unless you've somehow managed to turn off EDGE and GPRS completely (or if using anything other than AT&T triggers the Data Roaming preference) while keeping voice active, this contention is irrelevant.

chriswheat
Nov 19, 2007, 01:46 PM
Honestly, I don't have an iPhone, yet, but I really don't care. And for those who cry for personal privacy... wake up and join reality.

Sad, isn't it? That our reality has become that personal privacy doesn't exist, and that people are so willing to accept that reality. I don't have a problem with this iPhone issue. As someone else said, it could easily just be because they only want iPhone users to have access to the stocks and weather data. But I do have a problem with people who are willing to give up their personal privacy just because that's the way they perceive reality.

Stella
Nov 19, 2007, 01:47 PM
Honestly, I don't have an iPhone, yet, but I really don't care. And for those who cry for personal privacy... wake up and join reality.

If your from an EU country where there are strict privacy laws then you'll take personal privacy a bit more seriously than if your from north america originally.

After getting a land line in Canada I was stunned that in less than a week I was getting calls from telemarketers. Telemarketers have absolutely no business in knowing my phone number.

Phil A.
Nov 19, 2007, 01:54 PM
If you read the iPod touch forum, it appears plenty of people have these apps working on the touch. As the ipt doesn't have an IMEI number (as it isn't a phone), how does that square with this?
Also, the URL doesn't seem to be active at the moment, and even if that query is being called, I don't see anything that says what stocks are being monitored. Finally, Every time you make a call, you pass your imei number to the cellphone provider, which I think is far worse than this

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 02:01 PM
Sad, isn't it? That our reality has become that personal privacy doesn't exist, and that people are so willing to accept that reality. I don't have a problem with this iPhone issue. As someone else said, it could easily just be because they only want iPhone users to have access to the stocks and weather data. But I do have a problem with people who are willing to give up their personal privacy just because that's the way they perceive reality.On the same note, being in the United States (or being a US citizen abroad) doesn't mean that you walk around in life with the Constitution in your back pocket.

Freedom isn't defined by demanding that all things cater to your whims, and Privacy isn't (legally) expected everywhere you go.

You have every right to refuse to buy an iPhone or other device that doesn't meet your standards. You have every right to use a carrier other than AT&T. Et cetera.
If your from an EU country where there are strict privacy laws then you'll take personal privacy a bit more seriously than if your from north america originally.

After getting a land line in Canada I was stunned that in less than a week I was getting calls from telemarketers. Telemarketers have absolutely no business in knowing my phone number.So they don't have phonebooks in Europe? The extent of public information in the EU is "We're protecting you. Go away!"?

I think you're confusing "privacy" with "not being bothered". They're not the same.
If you read the iPod touch forum, it appears plenty of people have these apps working on the touch. As the ipt doesn't have an IMEI number (as it isn't a phone), how does that square with this?
Also, the URL doesn't seem to be active at the moment, and even if that query is being called, I don't see anything that says what stocks are being monitored. Finally, Every time you make a call, you pass your imei number to the cellphone provider, which I think is far worse than thisDid you know that if you take your iPhone to another country, another carrier will have your IMEI?

A carrier that you know nothing about! Possibly even a carrier in a terrorist / communist / socialist state!

If nothing else, I like how the iPhone seems to have this magical way about waking people up to how the wireless industry has been operating for years. :)

jonny
Nov 19, 2007, 02:04 PM
If your from an EU country where there are strict privacy laws then you'll take personal privacy a bit more seriously than if your from north america originally.

After getting a land line in Canada I was stunned that in less than a week I was getting calls from telemarketers. Telemarketers have absolutely no business in knowing my phone number.

Rogers are the worst for this. I signed up for cable internet using my girlfriends cell phone number, this being the only time i had ever used her number associated with my name. within a few weeks we were getting calls to her cellphone asking directly for me from all types of companies.

Rogers has no regard for personal privacy whatsoever.

Stella
Nov 19, 2007, 02:13 PM
So they don't have phonebooks in Europe? The extent of public information in the EU is "We're protecting you. Go away!"?

I think you're confusing "privacy" with "not being bothered".

My example IS a privacy issue - how did the telemarketers get the data so quickly? Bell passed the data to a third party, which is a privacy issue.

EU countries do have phone books but you can be asked not to be included in the phone directory.This was just one example. EU countries have strict laws about what companies can do with digital personal data, how long they can keep data for etc, certainly a lot stricter than this side of the pond. Any company has to register with a data registrar and specify the purpose of keeping data is, and how it will be used. This stops companies from selling personal data if they aren't authorized to.

The IMEI number is tied to the phone. It can be very useful, for example - if your phone is stolen or lost your carrier can disable the phone, regardless if SIM is changed.

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 02:19 PM
My example IS a privacy issue - how did the telemarketers get the data so quickly?Because your phone number is public information. What difference does it make if your phone company sells / rents / gives it to them in two months or two days, if the information is public and available to anyone who wants it?

EU countries do have phone books, but this was just one example. EU has strict laws about what companies can do with digital personal data, how long they can keep data for etc, certainly a lot stricter than this side of the pond.And what, exactly, are you basing that assertion on? Your perception, based on telemarketers calling you in Canada?

somberlaine
Nov 19, 2007, 02:28 PM
The Key questions we should be asking now are:

1. What type of Information is Apple collecting?

2. Why is Apple Collecting the information?

3. How is Apple using the information?

4. Who is Apple sharing the information with?

minik
Nov 19, 2007, 02:34 PM
I'm not worrying about it as well, not that it's Apple.

Pretty much all the 'connected' devices these days do that, right? It's hard to avoid.

roland.g
Nov 19, 2007, 02:38 PM
Fix Stacks and I'll tell you your stock jumped five points and snow is coming.

Stella
Nov 19, 2007, 02:41 PM
This is a good example of what we think as 'privacy'. You don't consider your phone number being private ( oh, and your other data sold along with it ), where as I do. Different countries, different definitions of what privacy is.

Because your phone number is public information. What difference does it make if your phone company sells / rents / gives it to them in two months or two days, if the information is public and available to anyone who wants it?



And what, exactly, are you basing that assertion on? Your perception, based on telemarketers calling you in Canada?

No, I'm basing my assertions on Canadian and British law ( and no, I don't like the mass of CCTV cameras in the UK - but I don't live there ). In recent years, Canadian law has beefed up data protection.

Sadly, we are losing all our privacy as technology progresses. Marketing companies will want more information about us, as will governments.

davethecrave
Nov 19, 2007, 02:45 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/3B48b Safari/419.3)

as long as I dont end up dead I dont care. What are they going to do, broadcast my favorite cities weather to the world?

Small White Car
Nov 19, 2007, 03:00 PM
I'm not one of those people who feels like my ever freedom is being infringed upon, but I certainly don't want all my actions to be watched by my cellphone provider.

Well, AT&T know exactly who you call, when you called them, and how long you talked.

Now, with web-based phones they know what web sites you're visiting too.

I'd consider all of these much bigger issues than the weather widget, but by owning an iPhone you agree to all of that up front. So I don't see the big deal here. If the fact that these widgets send info bothers someone, they really shouldn't be using an iPhone in the first place!

Stella
Nov 19, 2007, 03:24 PM
Well, AT&T know exactly who you call, when you called them, and how long you talked.

Now, with web-based phones they know what web sites you're visiting too.

I'd consider all of these much bigger issues than the weather widget, but by owning an iPhone you agree to all of that up front. So I don't see the big deal here. If the fact that these widgets send info bothers someone, they really shouldn't be using an iPhone in the first place!

They also know your approximate location ( cell tower triangulation ). Overall, IMEI tracking is the least of your worries! ;)

Croatian
Nov 19, 2007, 03:28 PM
This Data is good for apple to find out how many unlocked iPhones do they have on there hands, on who's network are they on, that why they have options, if they choose to disable block or gray/black list the IMEI with the non APPLE iPhone Telecommunication Company they can do so by contact thing that company and giving them the IMEI

in a way i don't think apple is going to do anything with it, because to them, iPhone sold is iPhone sold and as much as they are pushing to have it locked, Steve Jobs always asked from his employees numbers for unlocked iPhones and the higher the number the bigger the smile he gts, at the end of the day he brings money into apple, share holders love more money, he looks good, everyone is happy and telecommunication company's are already rich so who cares about them

and if AT&T don't like the fact there are unlocked iPhones well thats life, you can't have ur cake and eat it too.

slinky0390
Nov 19, 2007, 03:29 PM
lets face it, you live in the 21st century, your life will never be completely private... unless you move to the middle of no-where and cut yourself off from all communication, and chances are, someone will know something about you anyway.

jaydub
Nov 19, 2007, 03:41 PM
Well, AT&T know exactly who you call, when you called them, and how long you talked.

Now, with web-based phones they know what web sites you're visiting too.

I'd consider all of these much bigger issues than the weather widget, but by owning an iPhone you agree to all of that up front. So I don't see the big deal here. If the fact that these widgets send info bothers someone, they really shouldn't be using an iPhone in the first place!

I know that they keep logs of who I call - the same way phone providers have done for years. However, they never kept logs of my behavior or nature of my conversations. There's a line between a provider knowing who I'm talking to, and them knowing what I'm talking to them about.

Like I said, I'm not one to feel like my personal freedoms are infringed upon often, but it seems like even if it was part of the EULA, nobody would bother to read it. I know that data is collected on me from every public place that I visit via the internet, but I also have an understanding that it would be happening. With the iPhone, it doesn't seem like people understood how data would be collected based on their weather/stock quote usage.

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 03:47 PM
This is a good example of what we think as 'privacy'. You don't consider your phone number being private ( oh, and your other data sold along with it ), where as I do. Different countries, different definitions of what privacy is.Actually, you're really proving my point.

If someone can look in a phone book and find your name, address, and/or phone book, then it isn't private.

If I decided to then take the phone book and create a list of all people whose names can be created using the letters "stella", then sold that list, I wouldn't be violating anyone's privacy.

I can't speak for other countries outside of the U.S., but it is common to have an unlisted phone number. Some phone companies charge for this, and some don't. Either way, if this was an option that you were presented and accepted, we'd be in agreement.

No, I'm basing my assertions on Canadian and British law ( and no, I don't like the mass of CCTV cameras in the UK - but I don't live there ). In recent years, Canadian law has beefed up data protection.

Sadly, we are losing all our privacy as technology progresses. Marketing companies will want more information about us, as will governments.I disagree. I don't think you're losing privacy so much as various entities (marketing, government, etc.) have an easier time learning something about you.

There's nothing private about leaving your house, going to the grocery store, buying a box of condoms and a spatula, stopping at the video store, then coming home and drawing your shades. Anyone who wants to can (legally) follow you to those places, and see what you're doing. The fact that "they" aren't physically following you doesn't make what you do in public any more or less private.

The other side of this coin is that we're (collectively) more willing to tell people about ourselves, for entirely selfish reasons.

The local grocery store gave me a card, which entitles me to certain discounts. In exchange for the discounts, they want me to let them know exactly what I buy, when I buy it, and how I choose to pay for it. In a very real way, they're buying the information from me.

Certainly, this may not appeal to the condoms-and-spatulas crowd, but maybe I would like the store to know that I only like a certain brand of cola, and I prefer to use self-checkout lanes, and I always pay with an American Express card. Hopefully, they'll learn that to keep me coming back, they'll always keep Coke in stock, they'll add more self-checkout lanes, and they won't stop accepting American Express.

If a stranger with a clipboard were to ask me what I bought and how I paid for it, I'd probably ignore them. But don't confuse willingly "selling" personal information with people giving up imaginary rights they never had to begin with.

bluedevil14
Nov 19, 2007, 03:56 PM
its really not that big a deal

at&t knows when and who i call every single time

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 04:06 PM
I know that they keep logs of who I call - the same way phone providers have done for years. However, they never kept logs of my behavior or nature of my conversations. There's a line between a provider knowing who I'm talking to, and them knowing what I'm talking to them about.What makes you think this is much different?

If you're hitting weather.com, how is that any different from them knowing when you call 900 numbers?

How is their innate knowledge that someone likes to call 1-900-STUD-BOY any different from them knowing that same person visits www.studboypics.com?

Like I said, I'm not one to feel like my personal freedoms are infringed upon often, but it seems like even if it was part of the EULA, nobody would bother to read it.There's only one person to blame for not reading something before they sign it ;)
I know that data is collected on me from every public place that I visit via the internet, but I also have an understanding that it would be happening.Not necessarily.

I could easily put a graphic in my sig, and find out something about you that you might not want me to know. Or, maybe I could entice you to click a link to my page, and find out a lot about you that you might not want me to know. Heck, I could even have a totally bogus Privacy Policy that says I won't sell whatever data I collect to anybody, when in fact, I might turn around and sell all of the data I collect to anybody willing to pay me for it.

Sure, the tinfoil hat crowd might profess the virtues of imageless browsing with cookies completely disabled... but is that how you browse the web?

jaydub
Nov 19, 2007, 04:15 PM
What makes you think this is much different?

If you're hitting weather.com, how is that any different from them knowing when you call 900 numbers?

How is their innate knowledge that someone likes to call 1-900-STUD-BOY any different from them knowing that same person visits www.studboypics.com?
That's not the point though. I'm not calling those sorts of numbers, so the innate knowledge of my conversations is not the issue here. If I'm calling my mother, or my stock broker, I'd rather them not know the content of my conversations. I'm not content with giving up those freedoms, personally.

There's only one person to blame for not reading something before they sign it ;)
Obviously, and I'm not disputing that. However, what I'm saying is that many people don't read them, and burying the disclosure about this in there seems a little shady; even from Apple.


I could easily put a graphic in my sig, and find out something about you that you might not want me to know. Or, maybe I could entice you to click a link to my page, and find out a lot about you that you might not want me to know. Heck, I could even have a totally bogus Privacy Policy that says I won't sell whatever data I collect to anybody, when in fact, I might turn around and sell all of the data I collect to anybody willing to pay me for it.

That's my point though. Perhaps I'm more informed than some in regards to the public nature of my browsing habits, but I always browse with the premise that my actions are completely visible to anyone who would wish to see them. While the idea of anonymity is probably a lost cause on the internet, that doesn't mean I should be OK with Apple (or whoever) obtaining information like this. I should be able to choose what they know about me.

Twinkie
Nov 19, 2007, 04:29 PM
That's not the point though. I'm not calling those sorts of numbers, so the innate knowledge of my conversations is not the issue here. If I'm calling my mother, or my stock broker, I'd rather them not know the content of my conversations. I'm not content with giving up those freedoms, personally.That doesn't change the fact that people are (at least, late-night commercials would have you believe so).

How is it any less obvious if you're checking stocks with your iPhone than if you're calling your stock broker? Perhaps more pointedly, if I'm looking up APPL, MSFT, etc. and own no stocks, and you're calling Charles Schwab five times a day, five days a week, whose information is really more valuable?

If you're calling your mother, and then calling Hospice, one could very easily draw the conclusion that your mother is dying -- at least, as rationally as they could conclude that you're an Apple stockholder because your iPhone checks the value of APPL daily.

Obviously, and I'm not disputing that. However, what I'm saying is that many people don't read them, and burying the disclosure about this in there seems a little shady; even from Apple.I understand that you're not disputing it, but at the same time, you're defending it.

Many people should stop fooling themselves in to believing that they're so important in this world that they don't "have time" to read a contract. And let's be honest here... AT&T's contract is not terribly long or riddled with legalese that the common person wouldn't understand.

I'd go as far as saying that it's clearer and more up-front than the full terms and conditions for AppleCare.

That's my point though. Perhaps I'm more informed than some in regards to the public nature of my browsing habits, but I always browse with the premise that my actions are completely visible to anyone who would wish to see them. While the idea of anonymity is probably a lost cause on the internet, that doesn't mean I should be OK with Apple (or whoever) obtaining information like this. I should be able to choose what they know about me.But why should your relationship be any different, is really my point.

Assuming all things are equal -- you know what the terms and conditions mean and say, you understand the inherent risks in browsing the public Internet, etc. Why then, would your relationship with Apple be any different than Google (who most assuredly brokers the information they obtain from you)? Or Amazon? Or any other company online?

notsofatjames
Nov 19, 2007, 04:38 PM
since the no-cash rule apple has all the information you need. When they sell your iPhone they scan the IMEI number then, and when you pay with your credit card, they've got all your details. When you subscribe with AT&T or O2, they have your phone number, imei, billing details. If apple wanted to find out who's using which iPhone, it wouldn't take long. Its obvious from the word go your being tracked, but it shouldnt be a concern.

arn
Nov 19, 2007, 06:40 PM
According to this

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/rumor-smashed/iphone-doesnt-send-imei-information-to-apple-324640.php

it's been tested and your IMEI number is not being transmitted

arn

michaelsviews
Nov 19, 2007, 08:28 PM
The Key questions we should be asking now are:

1. What type of Information is Apple collecting?

2. Why is Apple Collecting the information?

3. How is Apple using the information?

4. Who is Apple sharing the information with?

1. What they want?
2. Because they can and there big and have money
3. More than likely for research and answering question"s
4. Well UFO sitings have quadrupled in Cupertino CA, since the iPhone was released !. So maybe little green men or HOT GREEN Woman

goosnarrggh
Nov 20, 2007, 08:08 AM
Heck, I could even have a totally bogus Privacy Policy that says I won't sell whatever data I collect to anybody, when in fact, I might turn around and sell all of the data I collect to anybody willing to pay me for it.
And in Canada, you could be prosecuted and imprisoned for doing so. Even if you hadn't posted any sort of privacy policy at all. Except as compelled by law enforcement officers, you must obtain my explicit (not implicit) permission before disclosing to any 3rd party any non-public information I may have submitted to you, and I can withdraw that permission at any time.

Twinkie
Nov 20, 2007, 09:46 AM
And in Canada, you could be prosecuted and imprisoned for doing so. Even if you hadn't posted any sort of privacy policy at all. Except as compelled by law enforcement officers, you must obtain my explicit (not implicit) permission before disclosing to any 3rd party any non-public information I may have submitted to you, and I can withdraw that permission at any time.And the relevant law you're citing would be?

And it applies to anybody outside of Canada because... ?

goosnarrggh
Nov 21, 2007, 06:52 AM
And the relevant law you're citing would be?
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/ShowFullDoc/cs/P-8.6///en

Forgive me, it prescribes financial damages as punishment, not jail time.

And it applies to anybody outside of Canada because... ?
I guess that particular law doesn't.

However, similar laws are in effect in several other countries too - the fact that the USA doesn't have such a law is, in my mind, an unfortunate oversight of the changing tides of technology.

Apparently in the US, the Supreme Court has only held governments, not other individuals, to be Constitutionally bound to respect peoples' privacy.

With some American lawyers claiming that they have standing to pursue DMCA violation action against websites hosted in foreign countries (which I personally think is BS, but I'm no expert), why shouldn't the argument work in the opposite direction too?

But some states may have additional regulations. Apparently the state of California does have an inalienable right to individual privacy in article 1 of its constitution, and there is a California statute that makes website privacy policies mandatory and legally enforceable.

Twinkie
Nov 21, 2007, 09:26 AM
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/ShowFullDoc/cs/P-8.6///en

Forgive me, it prescribes financial damages as punishment, not jail time.Not so much.

It explicitly allows for the dissemination of information that is already available to the public (e.g. phone directories):

Collection without knowledge or consent

7. (1) For the purpose of clause 4.3 of Schedule 1, and despite the note that accompanies that clause, an organization may collect personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual only if

(a) the collection is clearly in the interests of the individual and consent cannot be obtained in a timely way;

(b) it is reasonable to expect that the collection with the knowledge or consent of the individual would compromise the availability or the accuracy of the information and the collection is reasonable for purposes related to investigating a breach of an agreement or a contravention of the laws of Canada or a province;

(c) the collection is solely for journalistic, artistic or literary purposes;

(d) the information is publicly available and is specified by the regulations; or

(e) the collection is made for the purpose of making a disclosure

I guess that particular law doesn't.

However, similar laws are in effect in several other countries too - the fact that the USA doesn't have such a law is, in my mind, an unfortunate oversight of the changing tides of technology.I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

I think a law that limits what a person can do with public information is tragic, and stifles a person's freedom of expression. I don't think being annoyed by telemarketers outweighs the right to utilize public information.

Apparently in the US, the Supreme Court has only held governments, not other individuals, to be Constitutionally bound to respect peoples' privacy.

With some American lawyers claiming that they have standing to pursue DMCA violation action against websites hosted in foreign countries (which I personally think is BS, but I'm no expert), why shouldn't the argument work in the opposite direction too?American lawyers != US government. I think The Pirate's Bay is probably one of the higher-profile examples of just how far Uncle Sam's arm can reach with a silly law.

But some states may have additional regulations. Apparently the state of California does have an inalienable right to individual privacy in article 1 of its constitution, and there is a California statute that makes website privacy policies mandatory and legally enforceable.You also have interstate commerce laws that come in to play, not to mention simple court procedure.

If you want to sue me as an individual, you have to file your suit where I live. It's also been held up in court (in my own state, even) that local laws can not possibly apply to web sites that are out of the locality's jurisdiction.

Nevermind the fact that it has been held time and time again that (at least in the US) people are free to do whatever they want with public information, as long as "whatever they want" is legal. (e.g.: it isn't legal to use a local sex offender's list to locate and kill a sex offender)

goosnarrggh
Nov 21, 2007, 12:03 PM
Not so much.

It explicitly allows for the dissemination of information that is already available to the public (e.g. phone directories):
I never specifically claimed otherwise. (Others may have, but they don't speak for me...)

...you must obtain my explicit (not implicit) permission before disclosing to any 3rd party any non-public information I may have submitted to you...

I don't think being annoyed by telemarketers outweighs the right to utilize public information.
Agreed. That's why there are such things as unlisted numbers and opt-in "do not call" lists.