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IP: WashPost: Should we sacrifice privacy for law enforcement?
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 11:21:45 -0500

From: Declan McCullagh <declan () well com>


Washington Post
'Knowing Your Customer'
Sunday, December 20, 1998; Page C06 


But the balance between protection
and intrusion teeters dangerously once those practices are mandated by
government. An FDIC draft on the regulation, for instance, observes that
mandating thorough "Know Your Customer" practices will remove the
competitive disadvantage such practices sometimes impose on banks --
disadvantages that have made banks reluctant to expand those practices
too far or to ask customers for certain kinds of sensitive information.

But while it's sometimes helpful to level the playing field, that can't be
said  for the still fluctuating "market" in privacy practices, where some
consumers balk at the intrusion involved in opening an account at one bank
and may use that as a factor in choosing another. Unless narrowly drawn,
regulations eliminating that choice will short-circuit an important debate
being stirred by the vastly expanded capabilities to snoop and stockpile
data. How much privacy can or should consumers be asked to sacrifice for
larger societal goals like law enforcement? 

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