Monday, June 26, 2006

Data brokers and buyers take the fifth

Companies involved in buying and selling the personal details of tens of millions of Americans got on the wrong side of a congressional hearing last week. The Washington Post reports that the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee

"subpoenaed representatives from 11 companies that use the Internet and phone calls to obtain, market, and sell personal data, but they refused to talk.

All invoked their constitutional right to not incriminate themselves when asked whether they sold "personal, non-public information" that had been obtained by lying or impersonating someone."

Ironic, as one Republican said, that people who cheat and lie to obtain personal details are complaining that they are unable to do so in private.

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