Letter: Splitting Hairs Over Privacy Argument

Many of Ken Magill’s points are well made (“Can We Get Any More One-Sided About Privacy?” Aug. 5). As someone who works in the industry, I understand your arguments and agree that much of the reporting on this subject is one-sided.

However, I have to point out an underlying assumption that you shouldn’t make if you really want to convert the non-believer. Your statement was, “When a value-for-value exchange takes place between two private entities, the information surrounding the transaction logically belongs to both parties.” The inherent assumption is that the seller has the right to ask the buyer for personal information. There is no such right on the part of the seller. The only information to which sellers should assume rights is the value of what the buyer is giving up to get the seller’s product (currency). Personal information is not a right of the seller. They give up a product in exchange for payment. That’s it.

If you’d like to argue that when an individual decides to divulge his personal information while a transaction takes place that he’s now given up rights to keep that information secure or secret … that’s a different argument.

Splitting hairs? Perhaps. However, to win converts or force movement on the issue, the strong argument is never anchored in a weak premise.

Brian L. Lard, Product manager

brianla[email protected]

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