[Geowanking] MS local.live.com & privacy (lack of)
rich.gibson at gmail.com
Tue Dec 13 10:18:00 PST 2005
On 12/12/05, Jeremy Irish <jeremy at groundspeak.com> wrote:
> This, however, doesn't bother me at all:
> > Microsoft may disclose location information if required to do so by law or
> > in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) conform to
> > the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Microsoft;
> > (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Microsoft and our family
> > of Web sites; or (c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal
> > safety of Microsoft employees or agents, users of Microsoft products or
> > services, or members of the public.
This says 'we will disclose your location information if we think we
should.' Who determines
'the edicts of the law?' Microsoft does. They do not require legal
process; a hair up their butt that you are doing something wrong is
all they require.
'Defend the rights or property?' What does that mean? Stopping
someone from burning down Microsoft headquarters is probably a good
thing, but Microsoft's ideas of their 'rights' and their 'property'
and my idea of their rights and property are radically different.
Clause c) is good in effect, though the wording is pretty damn creepy.
First we protect ourselves, then we protect our customers, and
finally we deign to protect the general public. It seems to me that
when you make a list you are intrinsically implying priority.
So this whole paragraph says basically we will protect ourselves, and
last of all we will protect the personal safety of the general public.
> And this is just plain necessary:
> > Location information collected by Location Finder may be stored and
> > processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or
> > its affiliates, subsidiaries or agents maintain facilities. "
> Well duh. If I'm saving information to restore for a user in the future, I have to store it somewhere. It seems to me that this kind of text is meant to make sure people understand that information is stored for later retrieval. For example the service saves the most recent queries so you can click on them and not have to retype them. Addresses are particularly nice to click on after you search for a local McDonalds or whatever to do a second search.
We have had some 'controversies' of late in which medical records have
been off shored for transcription and processing. In several cases
contractors have threatened to disclose that information, or even just
the fact that they had that information, raising all sorts of
excitement. The innocent patients, or their calculating agents, then
vent their sound and fury against sending 'my information' overseas.
I suspect that this clause will suffer when brought up against the
European data privacy directorate.
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