Curt Hagenlocher on Wed, 7 Aug 2002 06:07:52 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FBI Rewards Customer Loyalty

[Information collected by anyone is not safe from Big Brother],2933,59262,00.html

Larry Ponemon, CEO of the Privacy Council, said he was consulted for
advice in January by an attorney for a national grocery chain, which
in the wake of Sept. 11, had voluntarily delivered up its customer
loyalty accounts to the federal government. 

"It was not a malicious act, but it was more about feeling they had
to do something to help the government look for the bad guys," said
Ponemon, who could not reveal the name of the chain. 

He said the attorney had since resigned from the chain and would not
speak to the press. Despite his advice to the company, cardholders
were never informed that their personal information had been shared
with the government.

Noting that since the attacks a number of industries were persuaded
to share their customer databases with law enforcement, Ponemon said
he didn't know whether the practice continues. 

"I think the issue is still happening, but probably more controlled
than it was," he said.

Asked about such data sharing techniques, an official with the FBI
simply said it would not divulge its surveillance methods. 

Curt Hagenlocher

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