posted Sep 05, 2000

Behind The Curtain
Privacy from Companies
9/5/2000; 1:31:30 PM 'We live in an age when Kmart can tell how many Huggies were sold in its stores across the country 10 minutes ago, but public officials, and hence the public, can't really say why airplanes don't fly. That's not because the data doesn't exist somewhere within the government - it does, spread across a gaggle of different computer systems, no doubt accessible through superhuman diligence - it's just not easily accessible to us. Thus is it easy for chairmen to speak as if the facts were unknown.

'This picture points to the next great hope for the information revolution: that we might be able to learn as much about governments and business as they have learned about us. That this might be the end of their effective privacy, just as it has effectively been the end of ours.'


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