Privacy Advocates Gaining Power

from the good-for-them dept

Recently, there have been a bunch of stories about the so-called MATRIX (Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange) system, that would make it easier for authorities to comb through various public (government and commercial) databases to tie together information. However, as information about this program has become public (including the fact that it was approved secretly in Utah), the backlash from privacy advocates has been powerful and effective. Business Week points out that this appears to be a shift in attitudes in the US since September 11th, when many people seemed willing to give up privacy for the sake of security. As the article points out, though, the MATRIX program really doesn’t sound that bad. There certainly is the potential for misuse, but since its main purpose is to make it easy to search through multiple databases that they already have access to, it’s hard to see it being a huge problem. Still, the potential for misuses and the secrecy concerning how the program would be used is a problem. The good news, though, is that privacy advocates are starting to be heard again, and are hopefully making data collection plans more transparent, so that they can be vetted to see what the real privacy implications are.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...