Thursday, July 14, 2005

FCNL/War/Counter Recruiting

US Recruiting Database Inspires Outrage

CIO Magazine/

Commenting on the military recruiting database, the Friends Committee on National Legislation noted Defense proposes to entrust the personal information of tens of millions of young adults to a commercial direct marketing company, Benow, which doesn't even have a privacy policy, and hasn't bothered to enlist in a privacy seal program. "We strongly object to the creation of this Joint Advertising database," the body said. "The collection of this information is not consistent with the Privacy Act, which was passed by Congress to reduce the government's collection of personal information on Americans. The collection of individuals' Social Security Numbers presents risks to privacy, and is unnecessary for operation of the database. The "routine uses" for disclosure of information in the database is unjustified. The DOD proposes to ignore the law and its own regulations by collecting personal information from commercial data brokers and state registries rather than directly from individuals." The group claims the database represents an unprecedented foray of the government into direct marketing techniques previously only performed by the private sector. And it insists such techniques simply are not compatible with the Privacy Act, as direct marketing tactics increasingly call for massive amounts of personal information. And while numerous laws protect individuals from commercial direct marketing techniques, they say these protections only apply in commercial transactions, leaving individuals with little recourse against harassing or unwanted junk mail, telemarketing, and spam from the government.


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