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03/08/2004 Archived Entry: ""

For your chuckling pleasure: Gary Varvel's cartoon "The Local Government Efficiency Machine"; and, Pat Oliphant's bitter but accurate comment "Who Will Be Next?"

News updates on privacy:

---the award for Privacy Villain of the Week (3/5/04) goes to the California Fourth district of Appeals which "has upheld the legality of outrageous surveillance of cybercafes in the city of Garden Grove. The law requires continuous video surveillance of customers, a uniformed security guard at every cybercafe in the city on weekends, as well as a daytime curfew closing them to minors during school hours."
---good news from Business Week, "Thanks to the power of pocketbook and protest, privacy advocates and concerned consumers are winning their war on RFID tags."
---here's a State-use of RFID that even paranoid lil me didn't envision, courtesy of RFID Journal": "Bogota's Secretary of Transit and Transportation issued a regulation stating that each transit bus must be equipped with an RFID tag. In addition, busses were allocated specific regions and streets in which to operate." Why? To keep the privately-owned buses away from the more profitable areas so that public transit can maintain a monopoly there.
---this strange story from Wired is appropriately titled "I'm Sorry, Dave, You're Speeding": "Toyota unveiled a controversial concept car that would very closely monitor, and in some cases restrict, the actions of its driver -- including refusing to turn on. Based on the driver's experience and driving record, the car adjusts its engine performance, cutting back for motorists with less experience or spotty driving records." The potential here is for police or insurance companies to demand that those with less than a perfect record drive a HAL-mobile they want to drive at all.

Best to all,

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