1994-09-07 - Re: AIDs testing and privacy

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: mmarkley@microsoft.com (Mike Markley)
Message Hash: 23d7732903fb6f09b7f24d6bb67f9b12e9303fb34b6229c2e6594b45cf4a43ab
Message ID: <199409072314.QAA17630@netcom7.netcom.com>
Reply To: <9409072133.AA12197@netmail2.microsoft.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-09-07 23:14:01 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 7 Sep 94 16:14:01 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Wed, 7 Sep 94 16:14:01 PDT
To: mmarkley@microsoft.com (Mike Markley)
Subject: Re: AIDs testing and privacy
In-Reply-To: <9409072133.AA12197@netmail2.microsoft.com>
Message-ID: <199409072314.QAA17630@netcom7.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Mike Markley wrote:

> What about being denied a job because you have been treated for some 
> disease? How about being denied a loan because your medical history has 
> a profile that indicates that your life expectancy is shorter than the 
> duration of the loan? It seems that the potential for abuse is so great 
> that we should not allow such cross referencing.

There's the rub! While I may not _like_ what people or companies do
with data about me, I generally don't support laws telling them what
they can do, what they can't do, etc.

And such normative laws ("they shouldn't keep such records and hence
we'll outlaw them") won't work in an era of strong crypto and privacy.
In fact, some of us support data havens precisely to have records of,
say, terminal diseases so we'll not lend money to Joe-who-has-AIDS. It
may not be "fair" to Joe, but it's my money. (Same idea as in using
offshore or cryptospatial data havens to bypass the nonsense in the
"Fair Credit Reporting Act" that outlaws the keeping of certain kinds
of facts about credit applicants, such as that they declared
bankruptcy 10 years ago or that they left a string of bad debts in
Germany in the 1970s, etc.)

I won't go into the many issues here, as this is an ideological
digression. Cypherpunks understand that laws won't protect their privacy.

--Tim May

Timothy C. May         | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,  
tcmay@netcom.com       | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-688-5409           | knowledge, reputations, information markets, 
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