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The Justice System as a Digital Platform

Justin Tashea – September 30 2020 – The Commons To overcome the unprecedented court backlog of cases created by the pandemic, courts must reimagine what they are. No longer strictly a brick and mortar operation, courts need to think of themselves as a digital platform. Doing so requires the adoption of open data standards, data […]

The Public Record: Information Privacy and Access

The open public record system has been the mainstay of the U.S. democracy and economy since the earliest Colonial days. During the last 350 years, this open system has become as essential an infrastructure as roads, telephone lines, and airports. The American open public record allows citizens to oversee their government, facilitates a vibrant economy, […]

The Privacy Paradox

The open flow of information is under attack in the United States as never before in an effort to protect privacy. This issue has united the far right and far left, Republicans and Democrats, federal and state governments, the Eagle Forum and the ACLU, even Phyllis Schlafly and Ralph Nader. In the past two years […]

The Identity Theft Conundrum

The Identity Theft Conundrum  “Identity theft” presents an inherent conundrum: The very attributes of modern commerce that consumers value and expect-rapid, easy, 24-hour access to a wide variety of innovative products, services, and information-make identity theft easy to perpetrate and difficult to detect. Similarly, the most effective tools for preventing and detecting identity theft often […]

Consumer Benefits from Open Public Records

Open access to public records serves many valuable purposes in our democracy and provides many public benefits, ranging from preventing and detecting crime to locating missing children. (These public benefits are outlined in greater detail in the Coalition for Sensible Public Records Access paper, Public Benefits From Open Public Records.) The value of accessible public […]

The Limits of Opt-in

Federal and state laws guarantee individuals the right to “opt-out” of certain uses of their personal information. Under this longstanding standard of privacy protection, businesses that wish to collect and use personal information must clearly notify consumers and must provide them with an easy, no-cost way (such as an 800-number) of “opting out” of such […]

Important Uses of Social Security Numbers (SSNs)

Preventing and investigating terrorist activities – The use of commercial databases is an important tool in protecting Homeland Security and critical infrastructure and fighting the global war against terrorism. Information provided by a CSPRA member companies was instrumental in locating suspects wanted in connection with the September 11th terrorist attacks. The SSNs contained in databases […]

Background checks might be worth the price

By RICK BRUNDRETT Staff Writer Unlike Wal-Mart, many S.C. companies require background checks for their workers, employment lawyers say. Columbia employment lawyer Franklin Shuler Jr. suspects Wal-Mart doesn’t do extensive checking because its large size and high employee turnover would make it very expensive. But it is a risky policy for any company or nonprofit […]