InnoTech Conference 2010

The 6th Annual InnoTech Austin Conference is going on today at the Austin Convention Center.  Stanfield Hiserodt will be speaking there this afternoon on Data Security and Privacy Laws.  InnoTech Conference offers IT professionals the chance to interact and discuss the latest technology business solutions.  You should come check it out!

Local Data Privacy Story Starring Yours Truly

We were interviewed for a local story involving data privacy here in Austin.  We were actually misquoted here, though.  There is no legal restriction for these places to store fingerprint data.


Supersize Your Legal Services With a Drive-Thru Window!

Connecticut law firm helps keep the legal industry classy.


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I'm thinking the Sonic method where the clients wait in their cars and the lawyers come out in roller skates would be much more effective. 

Should Corporations Have a Right to Privacy?

Back in 2004 the FCC investigated the government billing practices of AT&T.  The investigation lead to a settlement in which AT&T paid $500,000.  Afterwards, a trade group representing some of the telecommunication giant's competitors wanted to find out exactly what the FCC discovered during its investigation, and so they filed a Freedom of Information Act request.  

Exemption 7(C) of FOIA  allows the government to withhold releasing information that would cause an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.  AT&T, claiming a right of personal privacy, appealed within the FCC to prevent the release of the information.  The FCC disagreed and AT&T then appealed to the Third Circuit.  The Third Circuit reversed and sided with AT&T stating, "corporations, like human beings, face public embarrassment, harassment and stigma” by having their private information released.  Now the Supreme Court has decided to hear the case this term.

The "personhood" of corporations has always been a controversial concept under the law.  Last term, in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court held that corporations have free speech rights under the First Amendment when it comes to political advocacy. 


The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Let Freedom Ka-Ching
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive


If corporations are found to have privacy rights similar to individuals it could have a profound effect on the public's knowledge of corporate behavior.  Many feel that the citizens' right to know about information affecting the public interest outweighs the privacy rights a corporation might have.  For example, some fear that corporate privacy claims could be used in cases involving safety records (think Toyota, BP), or certain policies of financial institutions (think Goldman Sachs).  Stay tuned.

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Map of The Internet - We're On Here Somewhere

The following visual depiction of the Internet on the blog xkcd is brilliant.  We are disappointed that this blog didn't specifically make the map, but we believe we are somewhere on an island between the tech blogs and the business blogs in the lower left quadrant.  We also particularly like the Plains of Awkwardly Public Family Interactions on the Facebook continent.  The map may be viewed in much more detail here.