||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
Dealing with confidential data on the web
One does not need to look far to see public
cases of computer security violations and the liability suffered by
the custodian of the data. With millions of dollars at stake, there
are many resourceful hackers waiting for a website custodian to make
a mistake and expose confidential information.
The following sections explore specific ways
that companies lose control of information.
Real-world Case: The Hotel Database Fiasco
In a widely publicized court case from the
1990’s, a major hotel chain collected detailed information about
their weekday guests’ use of their hotels. They employed a data
warehouse analyst who created a target marketing campaign, offering
special coupons to those guests who frequently used the hotel on
This marketing campaign was a mass-mailing that
targeted weekday-stay guests with coupons sent to the home addresses
of the guests. The results were disastrous. More than a dozen
people were clued into their spouse’s infidelity as a direct result
of this coupon campaign and more than six divorces resulted from the
While this action was not in violation of the
privacy laws per se, the result of the campaign was the disclosure
of private information that was damaging to a third party. A more
suitable approach in this case would have been to mail the coupons
to the guests’ work addresses.
Next, ways the web can be used to violate
personal privacy will be explored.
The above text is
an excerpt from:
Web StalkersProtect yourself from Internet
Criminals & Psychopaths
by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert
Note: This is a literature review prepared by a
non-lawyer and this research may not be construed as legal advice.
If you are seeking legal advice of qualified attorneys, consult your
local Bar Association, not these web pages.
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