Can Corporations Own Your Data?

Corporations are shooting for a serious data grab that could give them the right to own, rather than just use, information about you and to control who else has access to that information. Bad. Bad. Very bad.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

3 comments… add one
  • Brenria Oct 23, 2003 @ 16:27

    That’s just sick. May this thing die a horrible and very well-publicized death.

  • Bill Johnson Oct 22, 2003 @ 21:07

    I just wandered over to http://www.house.gov to peek at H.R. 3261. I live near Sodom on the Potomac (a.k.a. Washington DC), where one is frequently advised to "follow the money" to find out why something is happening.

    Where’s the money here? Hmm, the Federal Election Commission’s website shows that bill sponsor Congressman Coble has received over $15,000 in contributions from the "American Intellectial Property Law Association Intellectual Property PAC" since 1997.

    The American Medical Association (who owns the medical procedure codes Schlafly referenced) has kicked in $11,000 since 1997.

    What’s this? A whopping $30,000 since 1997 from the "Association of Trial Lawyers of America Political Action Committee"?

    I’d count up all the contributions from the PACs of ALLTEL, AT&T, Bellsouth employees, MCI Worldcom, Worldcom Employees, Verizon, some law firms with serious Beltway clout, and Microsoft, but I wouldn’t want you give you an excuse not to pop over to http://www.fec.gov and look for yourself.

    The congressional authority to grant copyright comes from Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The relevant chunk is: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries".

    H.R. 3261 appears to grossly overstep Congress’s authority. May it die with a whimper.

    Bill

  • Linda Sprinkle Oct 22, 2003 @ 13:24

    This is scary. It’s probably also unconstitutional, but until a case goes to the Supreme Court and gets a ruling, there’s no way of knowing for sure. The problem isn’t just the original idea, which is scary enough. But there’s also the unintended consequences to deal with. People rarely ask themselves what else, besides what they intend the law to do, could it do or might it do? It’s the stuff of SF, but I don’t have time to write this one right now. It’s going in the idea file. I hope I never see it anywhere but in my (or someone else’s) fiction.

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