FC: FTC and European Union privacy czars expose personal data

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sun Mar 10 2002 - 10:14:43 PST

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    [Obviously the FTC has little choice in this matter. But it seems to
    that America's chief privacy enforcers could be a wee bit more
    sensitive to the dangers of collecting personal information -- after
    all, they insist that private firms are. For instance, the FTC could
    put a notice at the top of a sign-in sheet saying: "Warning: This
    information may be made public." Or it could have a policy of
    collecting only the minimal information that it needs. And so
    on. --Declan]
       FTC snoops: The agency responsible for protecting privacy is being
       forced to do exactly the opposite.
       On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission sent e-mail to everyone who
       attended its "Get Noticed" privacy workshop last December, telling
       them their personal information was about to become public.
       EU glitch: Across the Atlantic, the European Union's "Working Group on
       Data Protection" has a far more innovative way to reveal personal
       On Friday, the EU's Eva Salger-Kuhn accidentally sent e-mail to
       everyone in the working group's database -- on one long "To:" line.
       This is, remember, the European bureaucracy charged with creating and
       enforcing safe data-use practices.
    From: Glb Workshop [mailto:GLBWORKSHOPat_private] 
    Sent: Fri 3/8/2002 10:40 AM 
    Subject: Notice to GLB "Get Noticed" Workshop Registrants
    	This is to let you know that the Commission must respond to a
    request made under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for
    information about those who registered to attend the GLB "Get Noticed"
    Workshop held on December 4, 2001. The Commission is required to
    disclose to the requester the names and contact information of those
    who registered to attend in their professional capacity. This includes
    information you provided when registering for the workshop, such as
    your name, company, phone number, e-mail address, and if you provided
    it, your fax number. We anticipate that the information will be
    released to the requester during the week of March 11, 2002. While we
    do not know how the requester will use the information, we believe it
    is important to notify you that we are obligated to provide your
    professional information under the FOIA.
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