||Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 1 -
The Illusion of Anonymity
All about Anyone:
Just a Mouse-Click Away
Using a search engine like Google.com is a good
way to discover how much personal information is readily available
on the Internet. Simply use a web browser like Internet Explorer or
Netscape, surf to www.google.com, and type a name in the
search box. If an individual participates in online communities
like UseNet or e-mail discussion lists with public archives, their
name will most likely be listed many times.
Other search engines specialize in locating
phone numbers and physical addresses. One widely used web site of
this type is Directory Assistance Plus (www.daplus.us). With
just a person’s name and the state in which they reside, it is
possible to retrieve not only their phone number and address, but
also more speculative information. Personal data available with
these types of searches may include the estimated value of a
person’s home, how long they have lived there and their salary. It
goes without saying that easy access to this and other types of
personal information can become dangerous.
Medical records are a source of valuable
information for those invested in the healthcare industry. Trying
to predict market demands for medical services in the future is no
easy task. A great deal of data must be accumulated and analyzed.
The more information that goes into formulating these projections
means the greater the odds of producing an accurate forecast.
Health and wellness statistics for the U.S.
population are available to anyone who cares to investigate. These
records do not violate personal privacy, since all data applies only
to demographic groups. The problem occurs when individual privacy
is overlooked, and personal healthcare information is used by
intrusive companies hungry for data to fuel their next business
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