Friday, May 1, 2009

Your tax dollar's inaction

More ammunition for those who think government can never do anything right. Why are the federal and provincial governments handing your personal information over to marketers, scammers, and identity thieves? You may well ask. Here are the deets:
First bomb: The Canadian do-not-call list. Not satisfied with dragging way behind the U.S. in responding to the pleas of citizens suffering a continuous onslaught of telemarketing calls, when they finally got around to it the CRTC screwed it up royally, according to Michael Geist of the Toronto Star.

The list's effectiveness was greatly reduced by the huge number of organizations exempt from its restrictions. Now, Geist says, the list has been accessed by marketers, including U.S. outfits beyond the CRTC's jurisdiction, as a source of new prospects, so by registering for the do-not-call list you can actually be added to some telemarketers' call lists. Confused yet? Also, enforcement is virtually non-existent. It gets worse. Bell has been given the task of reviewing complaints, INCLUDING COMPLAINTS ABOUT ITS OWN TELEMARKETING PRACTICES as well as those of its competitors. You can read Geist's article for yourself. Suffice to say NO penalties have been levied, despite thousands of complaints. What a shambles.

Second bomb: Ontario's new "enhanced" driver's licenses. These are the ones you'll need if you don't have a passport and want to enter the United States after June 1. Turns out that if you carry one of these unprotected in pocket or purse, your personal information can be "sniffed" by anyone with a cheap RFID scanner.

This info could be used to create fake passports for sale on the international black market, or to aid in theft of your identity, or simply to track you.

No, we're not kidding. Read Jesse Brown's article.
Do our politicians and government bureaucrats have any clue about technology? Do they care at all about our personal privacy? If you care, make a noise.

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