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THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP

HOST: JOHN MCLAUGHLIN

JOINED BY: JERRY BERMAN, TONY BLANKLEY,
ELEANOR CLIFT, AND SOLVEIG SINGLETON

TAPED: FRIDAY, JULY 27, 2001
BROADCAST: WEEKEND OF SEPT 7, 2001


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THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT.
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ANNOUNCER: From aircraft engines that bring us together to appliances that lighten our chores to broadcasting that brings the world home, GE is working for people everywhere. That's why we're proud to support the McLaughlin Group.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue one: Pocketbook privacy.

Experts say this will be the decade of tracking and monitoring. Who will do the tracking and monitoring? Not the FBI or Big Brother, but Experian, the TRW Corporation, and other consumer credit agencies, in combination with Internet advertisers like DoubleClick and direct marketing firms.

More than a hundred million American adults already have extensive financial and marketing dossiers on file. They show credit histories, spending preferences, bank accounts, work records, job losses, personal addresses, mortgage histories, Social Security numbers, the names of other adults living at the same address, payment patterns, credit cards, car loans, income.

And that's just for openers. When combined with data culled from Internet habits and online browsing and ordering, consumer credit reports give corporations and marketing firms a thorough profile of an individual.

And we're still in the infancy of the tracking and monitoring decade, says Richard Smith, president of the Privacy Foundation. Quote: "Technologies are going to come online to monitor us in ways we never would have imagined 10 years ago. Cell phones, smart cards, digital TV, biometrics -- it's happening. There are going to be millions of things tracking us that we've never even dreamed of," unquote.

Soon one's photograph, fingerprints, credit history, and consumer habits will all be accessible at the touch of a keypad.

Question: Doesn't realism dictate that financial privacy is a totally lost cause? Information brokers for hire can find everything, including your exact bank balance. I ask you, Solveig Singleton. Is that true? Is it a lost cause, financial privacy?

MS. SINGLETON: Well, we've got a modern financial economy where we're all strangers dealing with strangers at the end of -- opposite end of a telephone line. And I think that information has a lot of legitimate uses. It's not too late to have targeted solutions for bad guys, like identity thieves.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor, do you believe that?

MS. CLIFT: Well, all those little notices that people have been getting in the mail lately -- financial disclosure, advice --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And opting out.

MS. CLIFT: Well, that's a -- it's a new government regulation, and if you read those notices and can understand them, you'll probably understand that you have very little privacy. Legislation from November of '99 allowed banking services and security services and insurance companies to basically operate under the same umbrella. And they share information, and consumers have very little privacy left. I think it's partly an inevitability.

But technology can also be our savior. Technology can invent fire walls and can program fire walls, so that at least there's an audit trail of who's looking at your records.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What do you think of opting out procedures now being adopted by some financial institutions, whereby they tell you that if you so designate, they will not disclose any of your financial data with non-affiliated institutions who may be interested in getting it?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But that doesn't say anything about how they're going to put -- what use they're going to put your information to.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I mean, look, there are a number of things. Obviously, the people who really advocate privacy want an opt-in rather than an opt-out, because most people are not going to act firmly -- affirmatively to act on some things.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean the obligation should rest on the institution not to share anything until they're told otherwise by you?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, that -- well, that's what the privacy advocates argue.

Look, privacy, I think, is going to be pass‚. We -- it's a novel idea. We've only had it for about 200 years. Before the Industrial Revolution, before everyone lived in big cities, we all lived in villages, and everybody knew everything. If you were a drunk, there was only one tavern, and everybody knew it. If you went to the shop to buy a particular fabric, if your wife didn't do the laundry every week, everybody knew. It was only in the last 200 years we've gained anonymity in the big city, and now we're going to lose it to the technological reality of the future.

But I don't think it's going to feel the same, because the average person you meet isn't going to know this stuff. It's not going to be like walking down a village street. It's only going to be sort of theoretical data out there. But people with a somewhat paranoiac view of life are going to think that everybody is tracking to find out what their blood pressure is.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I can't believe what I'm hearing.

MR. BERMAN: I can.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I cannot believe it. You have turned totally defeatist on defending your own privacy. (Laughter.)

Jerry?

MR. BERMAN: I'm astonished. So I think that we have a serious privacy issue, but the public -- every poll shows that it is a major issue. I was just out at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal with 200 judges, and I asked -- 80 percent of them said they were privacy fundamentalists. They want change.

There -- Eleanor points out the real problem. We -- and your start-in piece -- we are putting enormous amounts of data out in the marketplace. It's -- and on the Internet, because -- to do business, to live our lives. But the law has not tracked and followed that data. It's just not under the same protection that it is when it's in your home or --

MS. CLIFT: Right. There are going to be more regulations and rules. There's actually a privacy caucus on Capitol Hill, and when politicians get involved, you know that it's something -- that there's some political value in advancing this issue.

MR. BLANKLEY: Oh, look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The horse is out of the barn.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you're not going to be able to rope it back and put it back in.

MS. CLIFT: Not entirely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: For example, these information brokers, they can access data about an individual, and they get everything on you, including your current bank balance. And they do that by online searches, database searches, including credit reports. And the unscrupulous ones will sometimes send you a small check, and you endorse the check, and what happens? Then they have your account number.

MS. SINGLETON: Then they've got your account number. But most of these guys -- most of the people in the investigative services business are good guys. They're ex-cops. They're ex-military. They're going out there. They're collecting judgments that their clients have got in civil courts. So most of -- there are a few bad guys out there. It's not too late to crack down on the bad guys. But there's a lot of legitimate uses for this information.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Now you were -- you have worked at law firms, telling them about privacy policy, and you know that lawyers love to invade privacy, especially if they're handling a suit or if they're handling a divorce case. True?

MS. SINGLETON: Just like journalists. (Laughter.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, certain journalists. You mean the tabloid journalists. Certainly not Tony. (Laughter.)

MS. SINGLETON: All kind -- investigative journalists --

MR. BLANKLEY: I wouldn't investigate, no. (Laughter.)

MS. SINGLETON: -- serious investigative journalists.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You mean -- well, here's what's happening -- also, that goes to the FBI, because they all have the icon on their computers, and they press that, and they're putting in touch with -- what is it called? ChoicePoint. And ChoicePoint will give them the layout of the financial status of the individuals they're looking for. They will let the -- they can't do it themselves, because they're not allowed to store that, although you found otherwise when the Clintons got your raw data from the FBI.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, FBI -- FBI files and, I think, my tax returns, too.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Maybe that's why you've become so defeatist.

MR. BLANKLEY: No, no, look, look, look.

MS. CLIFT: They weren't looking for Tony's information. (Laughter.)

MR. BLANKLEY: I was clean. I was completely --

MS. CLIFT: That was a software screw-up, and it's been cleared on Capitol Hill by Ken Starr, et cetera. Thank you.

MR. BLANKLEY: Oh, dear. There was a bureaucratic snafu, I know.

(Cross talk.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Yeah, the Clintons were perfectly justified in Filegate, right, Jerry?

MS. CLIFT: That's what Ken Starr said. There was no wrongdoing, John.

MR. BERMAN: We can't give --

MR. BLANKLEY: He didn't find any evidence --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Hold on.

MR. BERMAN: We've can't give up on privacy, and I think there are going to be changes. Congress, Republicans and Democrats, are after the FBI's Carnivore system, and they're asking real questions about raising the standards for government access to this information.

Those -- the industry that wants the Internet to be the commercial nirvana know that consumer trust is absolutely essential, so they're putting in policies that -- to inform you about privacy. And the public is not going to tolerate the kind of notices they got from those banks, because they're incomprehensible.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, I understand the public wants privacy. I guess I'd like privacy, too, and -- but the law is never going to be able to keep up with the technology. Politicians are going to go out and pass laws. There will be a privacy act of every year; you wait and see. But it won't end up --

MS. CLIFT: So what, you know? (Chuckles.)

MR. BLANKLEY: -- it won't end up putting the technology back --

MS. SINGLETON: What's happened, I mean -- what happens --

MR. BERMAN: That doesn't mean that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Solveig?

MS. SINGLETON: What happens when you take a bunch of lawyers and throw them at an incredibly complicated issue of ethics is, you get legalese, you get lots and lots of legalese in the mail. And that's why I think markets are a better solution, although they may move more slowly than a top-down regulatory approach.

MS. CLIFT: But then Congress can intervene and say this notion that you have to aggressively opt out or else your information will be out there, and can change it to the fact that you have to give permission before your information can be used --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. Exit question --

MS. CLIFT: We can handle some of this legislatively.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Exit question: Which is more intrusive, the government or business? Who is the real Big Brother, Solveig Singleton?

MS. SINGLETON: The government definitely. The IRS publishes more Social Security numbers than anybody else in the public record.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: Government operates under a number of rules that private -- the private sector does not have to adhere to. And Representative Ed Markey, who is an advocate for consumers on Capitol Hill, says Big Browser has replaced Big Brother.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony --

MR. BERMAN: I disagree.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: I'm going to be with you in a minute, Jerry. We have a ritual here.

MR. BERMAN (?): Yeah. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. I think that currently the government is the greater danger. But the government is also the one that can be controlled more easily. Eventually, it'll be the private sector where the greatest danger is, because I think we can control government activity much better than we can control private-sector activity.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Jerry?

MR. BERMAN: We -- Big Brother is --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Government or business?

MR. BERMAN: It is the government, because they -- most of their uses can be harmful. They're out to get you, and therefore -- but they are subject to rules. But those rules have not kept up with the way we are using information, so they are a major threat.

But the private sector is also a problem. But I think that they -- but they can be brought under rules, too, both self-regulatory and legislative.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The answer is, the Big Brother of today is big business. Their databanks make the government databank shrink by comparison, and in fact the government snoops piggyback on the big business databanks.

When we come back, how private is what goes on between you and your doctor? Answer: Not private at all.

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two: Prescription for privacy.

Disclosing medical data can reveal what is happening inside a person's mind, such as the transcript of a session with a psychotherapist or a marriage counselor, or inside a person's body, such as a report of treatment for a sexually transmitted disease, or use of antidepressant medication, or a history of heart disease.

Imagine a prospective employer using such data to screen job applicants, or a current employer deciding whom to lay off and whom to keep. This is why the Clinton administration issued regulations last year to strengthen the privacy of medical records and impose penalties for their misuse.

But as more and more doctors and hospitals network their computer systems and electronic access to health care records becomes routine, maintaining the confidentiality of medical records will be virtually impossible. Already there are more than a dozen firms, including well-known names like WebMD and Medscape, working to transcribe medical records and make them accessible online to doctors and clinicians, sometimes using only a hand-held device, like a Palm Pilot.

The potential transparency of electronically stored medical files has privacy advocates worried sick.

MR. : (From videotape.) There are certainly mailing list companies today from which you could purchase a list of people who have certain medical conditions.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Question: Ex-President Clinton says that health information should not be used to deny a mortgage or a credit card. Isn't that wishful thinking? Don't we routinely discriminate on the basis of health, and rightly so, Eleanor Clift?

MS. CLIFT: I'm sure you can find some areas where somebody's not hired because they have a particular illness, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Policemen, firemen, stevedores.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but that has to do with whether they're capable of doing the job. The issue of privacy --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Insurance company -- if you -- if someone --

MS. CLIFT: John --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- someone has a terminal disease, is an insurance company not entitled to know that before extending life insurance? Of course they are!

MS. CLIFT: Well --

MR. BERMAN: The issue is, how are they entitled to know it? If it's relevant, they ought to get it from the patient or the person applying for a mortgage.

The question in the medical privacy legislation is whether willy-nilly these companies should be able to turn it over to a mortgage company or an insurer without the permission and consent of a consumer who gave it that provider for another reason. And --

MS. CLIFT: And the rule that the Clinton administration issued only -- it's a very narrow rule. It's a good beginning. It basically doesn't allow your health provider to share information outside that particular network. But it has all kinds of loopholes, and right now industry and HMOs and corporations are working very hard to weaken the provisions that are there.

One of them, for example, the paper folders that, you know, they put outside the door when you're getting your treatment -- they don't want those paper folders just out there for everybody to see. And you have -- doctors are fighting that. They say that's a major inconvenience.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah. You know --

MS. CLIFT: So there are some areas here which may have to be reined in.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Can a medical case be made for putting a patient's records on a computer file?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well -- well, sure. I mean, look, for example, if you go to your drugstore and you apply for a prescription, if they have the record to say, "Gee, you've got a counter-indicated prescription you're currently taking," because you're going to two different doctors --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you'll die if you take both.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- that's useful information that's available because of the flow of information.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right. Right.

MR. BLANKLEY: And there's always a trade-off between the value of information flowing freely and the intrusion.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: How about long-distance consultation with doctors?

MR. BLANKLEY: But we can, if you want to, pass certain laws and say the mortgage companies can't consider that. There are certain places you can put little barriers. But the information is generally going to flow. You can just legally say it can't legally be used here or there.

MR. BERMAN: And you can make it a crime for people to disclose information to those who aren't authorized to receive it, that -- or without the consent of the consumer. There is absolutely no reason why that should be willingly -- for the government to go into the drugstore and get my prescription records or your prescription records.

What?

MR. BLANKLEY: You can limit the government, and that's a good -- you -- limiting --

MR. BERMAN: Well, we haven't done that. Eleanor --

MR. BLANKLEY: I know. Limiting the government is a useful thing to do, always.

MR. BERMAN: (Laughs.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Solveig?

MS. SINGLETON: Yeah. I think that there's good reasons to have -- you know, that consumers have a reasonable expectation of medical privacy. That doctor-patient relationship is really important.

On the other hand, there's also enormous research benefits and other benefits of information-sharing in medicine. And I guess one of the questions I have is -- all this desire for privacy, it's driven by fear of stigmas, and really, how many medical decisions do we want to have that are driven by fear? So I think we should be open, even in the medical information area.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You do?

MR. BLANKLEY: But --

MS. SINGLETON: To experiment --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are you following what's happening in Iceland, in Reykjavik up there?

MS. SINGLETON: Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What is happening there?

MS. SINGLETON: What they're doing is, they've gotten everybody in Iceland -- because it's an isolated genetic community -- to sort of put their DNA into a pool, so they can study it and serve as kind of a standard, so genetic researchers around the world can get in, figure out more about the causes of disease.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And they've got almost 100 -- they got 100 percent cooperation.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but they have willingly done that.

MS. SINGLETON: Yeah.

MS. CLIFT: And all of this has to start at the point of patient consent and patient knowledge of what is being disclosed.

MS. SINGLETON: Yeah, that's what -- I think that's true. Right.

MR. BERMAN: We are in an incredible position where we have more protection for video records, which -- I helped to write that statute -- than for medical records. The public has a reasonable expectation of privacy, and sensitive information -- and as it -- and needs it on the 'net, and the rules are not there. But I think the demand is there, and it'll come.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You're such an idealist. You know that, Jerry? You're an inspiration to listen to.

MR. BERMAN: I'm not an idealist.

MR. BLANKLEY: Look, let me make --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Realism is something else. (Chuckles.)

MS. CLIFT: Remember --

MR. BLANKLEY: Let me make a point. One of the problems that this gives rise to is the difficulty of insuring with pooled, you know, risk, and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What's -- what are you saying?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, now there's right now -- and the whole insurance system is based on everybody sharing the risk.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MR. BLANKLEY: If insurance companies know everybody's condition --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right.

MR. BLANKLEY: -- then there's no shared risk. So the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But why don't actuaries have more refined instruments to formulate what the level of risk is, so that we all pay what we deserve and we can accommodate those who are at high risk?

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, yeah, so if we --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Isn't the whole system improved thereby?

You're nodding your head. Why?

MS. SINGLETON: Yeah, because I think that at some point you cross the line when you're defending the privacy; you start to cross the line into insurance fraud.

MS. CLIFT: You know, the sensitivity of this issue -- the Bush administration actually was going to roll back the Clinton era rule. Remember that?

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yes. Yes.

MS. CLIFT: And it was right around the time they were rolling back all those environmental safeguards. And they looked out at the polls and the reaction they were going to get, and they stuck with those Clinton-era rules.

MR. BERMAN: You say that they need --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Follow the polls, right?

MS. CLIFT: Right. (Chuckles.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue three: Anonymizers.

MR. : (From videotape.) An anonymizer is a way for a person to surf on the Internet without disclosing their actual identity. They go to websites where they're able to continue on to other websites and have their identity protected.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Privacy invasions, from identity theft to unwanted e-mail, are leading some people to seek out technology to protect them online. So-called anonymizers, with names like MailAnon, ZipLip, and the Cloak, allow you to conceal your identity from e-mail recipients, as well as Internet snoopers.

Other services and software scramble communications between you and your bank or an airline to make you feel safe about sending your credit card or other financial information through cyberspace.

I think I spotted you on the Internet. You're using the Cloak, aren't you. (Laughter.) (Laughs.)

Now what are we saying here? We're saying that if you want to protect your privacy, then technology will tell you how. So we're building up a huge $100 billion business for those who want to help you protect your privacy. Isn't that great?

MR. BERMAN: I think it's tremendous. There is -- there are -- we work very hard for strong encryption, which will -- law enforcement has got up in arms on that, but you need that to protect your communications across the line.

You ought to be -- you need --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You have viruses now in computers, and you have virus guards.

MR. BERMAN: Well, you need -- encryption is a protection against a virus, and it's also a protection for your privacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Do you think that some of those virus guard folk, who realize that they're really on to something, will create a virus in order to widen the market for the virus guard?

MR. BERMAN: Well --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is that the game we're playing? I mean, there's nothing new about this, is there?

MR. BERMAN: I'm sure that --

MS. CLIFT: These privacy protectors are an enormous growth industry in our society today.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Right!

MS. CLIFT: And frankly, I think those protectors are going to be as common as the unlisted number and Caller ID and all of the other ways that we have to know who's calling us and to block who we're calling.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But we have to -- before we go over the cliff here with exaggeration --

MS. CLIFT: It's not exaggeration.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- we have to remember that if your credit card is stolen, it's 100 times more likely to be stolen by a mugger than by a hacker.

Issue four: Supreme Surprise.

Score one for the sanctity of the home. In a ruling that caught many observers by surprise, the Supreme Court threw out the conviction of an Oregon man for growing marijuana in his home. The Oregon National Guard in its drug interdiction role had used a thermal imaging device to detect exceptionally high levels of heat generated by plant grow lights. They were escaping from Danny Kyllo's home.

A bare majority of the nine justices agreed with Kyllo that the resulting search of his home was illegal. Even though a judge granted a search warrant based on the thermal imaging information, the five-to-four court ruling found that using technology to peer into the home from outside constituted an illegal search.

Solveig, was this a good Supreme Court ruling?

MS. SINGLETON: This is an excellent ruling, founded in the Framers' original vision of the Fourth Amendment and tying privacy back into property rights and the sanctity of the home.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Does it set a precedent for other future rulings?

MS. SINGLETON: Yes, definitely.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: In what areas?

MS. SINGLETON: When it comes to looking at technology, it means that basically we're going to get away from the expectation standard, which is circular.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. This goes to the question of the Super Bowl in Tampa and the computers that matched images. They had, first of all, cameras all over.

MS. SINGLETON (?): Yeah.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They got the images. They fed them into a data-matching computer. Will that -- is that all going to be affected by this decision, do you think, Solveig?

MS. SINGLETON: I don't think so, because traditionally you don't have an expectation of privacy in a public place.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, but --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You don't?

MR. BLANKLEY: But you --

MS. CLIFT: What people find offensive is that they didn't know they were being surveilled.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Are we going to have a photo -- a monumental photo library from all this videotape taken, so that everyone has a photo ID in the U.S. government's hands? Is that what we're heading for?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, unless we stop it, which we ought to do. We ought to -- the government has no right to surveil in public everybody's photograph and then use it for their own purposes. And whether it doesn't fit in with the 18th century concepts of the Fourth Amendment, it better fit in with the 21st century concepts.

MR. BERMAN: We're going to -- there's been -- we're going to oppose a national ID system. I don't care where they get the photographs.

MR. BLANKLEY: Going to fight to the death on that.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: More idealism from Jerry. We'll be right back with predictions.

(Announcements.)

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Predictions, Solveig?

MS. SINGLETON: By the end of the summer, we'll be talking Social Security privatization, not privacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Eleanor?

MS. CLIFT: More legislative safeguards coming from Capitol Hill, with Senator Chris Dodd in the lead.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Tony?

MR. BLANKLEY: Both parties are going to be rushing to claim "the champion of privacy" as an issue in the next few years.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Boy, that's profound, Tony.

Jerry?

MR. BERMAN: We're going to get legislation and we're going to see technology in the fall coming out which will give consumers -- empower consumers to know what's happening to information on the 'net. It's called the Platform for Privacy Preferences. It's being deployed by Microsoft in their browser. It's a revolutionary technology.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: There you go. Anti-technologists tracking technologists.

I predict a national photo ID database will be created in the U.S. within 10 years. Bye-bye!

ANNOUNCER: From aircraft engines that bring us together to appliances that lighten our chores to broadcasting that brings the world home, GE is working for people everywhere. That's why we're proud to support the McLaughlin Group.

®FC¯END OF REGULAR SEGMENT
PBS SEGMENT FOLLOWS
®FL¯

PBS SEGMENT

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Issue five: Privacy pass‚.

REP. DICK ARMEY (R-TX) (?): (From videotape.) We don't want to be in 1984, with Big Brother -- Orwellian scenario -- watching our every move. And frankly, if I want to walk down the street, I don't want to worry about some camera peeking over my shoulder.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: If you're participating in the modern world, your privacy is on the line, meaning online. You probably know that cookies follow you in cyberspace, but did you know that car rental companies can use satellites to issue fines for speeding?

JAMES TURNER (resident of New Haven, Connecticut): (From videotape.) They told me that I was caught speeding on three separate occasions, and I never saw a state trooper. They said they had a GPS system installed in the car, and they tracked me across seven states without me knowing it.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The state of Connecticut agrees with James Turner that Acme Rent-a-Car should not have charged his credit card $450 for driving its vehicle too fast.

Here's another one: Did you know that cameras in public places match your face to databases and notify the police where you are if they want to get you? In Ybor City, a tourist area of Tampa, Florida, surveillance cameras have long been used to help police spot trouble brewing or in progress. Well, they are now connected to a high-powered computer which scans faces and compares each to a database of mug shots.

MR. BILL TODD (Tampa Police Department) : (From videotape.) Hoping to make the area safer for our citizens, reduce crime, and locate runaway kids.

MS. DARLENE WILLIAMS (Florida ACLU) : (From videotape.) This opens up the possibility for erroneous arrest, and it is total violation of privacy.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: The system is credited with dramatically reducing crime in an area of London, and it was used on crowds attending this year's Super Bowl in Tampa.

Solveig, what do you think about that first case, the driver of the car who was hit with a $450 fine on -- charge on his credit card, for speeding?

MS. SINGLETON: Reportedly, he was driving over 76 miles per hour, and that's pretty fast. And I think that in that case the car rental company has a right to truthful information to help them safeguard their interests, because I don't think it's fair for the next consumer who comes and rents a car to pay more for insurance because some people choose to speed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the state of Connecticut doesn't agree with you.

MS. SINGLETON: Nope.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, but --

MR. BERMAN: Wait a second. Wait a second. If you want a key --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Why?

MR. BERMAN: It may be there's a deterrent effect that could come if you knew that they were tracking your speed, but if you knew. You ought to have notice when you go into a car company --

MS. CLIFT : Yes. I think that's a big issue.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Did James Turner have notice?

MR. BERMAN: He said without any notice -- he didn't --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, I heard it was -- I thought it was in the small print of that endless contract.

MR. BERMAN: Well, yeah, but it ought to be on the big print, because if they're trying to keep him from speeding, it ought to be -- and --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that is the way it's currently resolved, correct?

MS. CLIFT: Yes. The key --

MR. BERMAN: I think that's --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And that's okay. (Cross talk.)

All right. What about the other case? That is, the cameras roaming around the Super Bowl crowd.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, look, look, this -- I don't have any problem with shopping centers running their surveillance cameras. I have a tremendous problem with then the police departments collecting all of this data and using it for surveillance of citizens. I think this is a genuine Big Brother. It's almost a literal Big -- Big Brother was -- the story was, there was a camera everywhere, looking at you.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Yeah. Now you're of British extraction.

MR. BLANKLEY: I am.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You know that in the U.K. these cameras are all over the streets.

MR. BLANKLEY: Regretfully.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And the crime rate has plummeted, correct?

MR. BLANKLEY: It's gone down, as it has gone down elsewhere. But --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, the street crime rate has plummeted.

However, what about the crimes that are committed inside the home --

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, it's going up.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: -- like burglary?

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, they're going up. Burglary has gone up a lot, yes. But --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're going up.

MS. CLIFT: I'd like to hear the --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: So what's happened is the criminals have changed their locations.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well, look --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're going from the streets to the home.

MR. BLANKLEY: Yeah, I don't know. It's very sad. If the birthplace of democracy's become the crypt of democracy, I'm sad to hear it.

MS. CLIFT: Yeah, I don't think --

MR. BLANKLEY: But I don't think the average Englishman wants to walk down the street being photographed.

MS. CLIFT: I don't think either of you can back up your statements with statistics out of the U.K. that the criminals have moved inside the home.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Burglary, breaking and entering, and robbery have all shot up.

MS. CLIFT: Well, that could be for a variety --

MR. BLANKLEY: So what does that --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: They're off the streets.

MR. BLANKLEY: Then we ought to --

MS. CLIFT: So we should open up the streets and tell them to come out on the --

MR. BLANKLEY: But --

MS. CLIFT: Look, the key here is -- the key --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: What it means is that every measure has its countermeasure.

MR. BLANKLEY: Well --

MS. CLIFT: No, the key here is choice, consent, and disclosure. If you have a community or a nation that agrees to these cameras -- (inaudible) -- permission --

MR. BLANKLEY: No, you don't.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want the cameras --

MR. BLANKLEY: This is not a majoritarian country.

MS. CLIFT: Apparently --

MR. BLANKLEY: You have rights, even if the rest of my citizens don't me to have them. And one of the rights is not to have to be photographed.

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want majority rule?

MS. CLIFT: I like consent, and I like disclosure. I think the people -- if people --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: And you want no minority -- (inaudible) -- rights respected?

MS. CLIFT: That isn't what I said. (Chuckles.)

MR. : I want my Fourth Amendment --

MR. MCLAUGHLIN: (To Mr. Blankley.) Hey, this is why your file was stolen by the Clintons.

MR. BLANKLEY: (Laughing.) I know.

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