Voter rolls and Data for sale by states

I am told an intresting story that shows that Oregon let voter roll data out into the public domain, and upon checking a bit, we discover that Oregon state sold the data to anyone for $500. First the story:

“I read your post on the LRC blog and I thought I’d relate what I’ve experienced. My wife and I relocated from Washington to Oregon a few years ago and when we went to get our Oregon drivers licenses the ODT automatically registered us to vote as independents. We did think about it too much since we haven’t participated in that state sacrament for quite a number of years. The funny thing was right before the election we got Snail mail saying how it was our duty to vote then we started getting phone calls and text messages from the “Democrat party “ saying we hadn’t voted and that we should. I got a text on Election Day urging me to vote. I thought it quite curious that they knew our address, cell phone numbers and they knew that we hadn’t voted.”

Next, a link about the data for sale for $500.

I suppose that next our governments will be selling our bank statements, our tax returns, our medical records, our internet searches, our grocery scanning purchases, our charge account data and our telephone records. And they’ll have a no resale clause as if it’s all copyrighted or owned by them.

It’s clear that my initial blog and consternation are premature and incomplete; and it’s too soon to rack up Zuckerberg’s role as a misdeed, since he could have bought a lot of data on the open market from the states themselves. It’s not too soon to want to know what the legal bases for these practices are. It’s not too soon to think about how these practices lead to other illegal practices. Can a person decline giving up personal data to the state without being penalized? Can a person get the state to alter personal data without confronting Leviathan?

Does AMazon own all the data on my past purchases? May they sell it legally? What if Amazon blackmails me? What if Amazon partners with government agencies and they threaten me unless I do X, Y and Z? What prevents extortion pressures like these? Isn’t a threat to privacy also and at the same time a threat to my freedoms, my rights? Rights cannot be maintained without a concurrent protection of privacy. That’s my libertarian theory of the right to privacy. It’s a necessary condition of a freely-lived life. Therefore, we must have a right of property in data about who we are, what we do, where we go, our memberships, our contributions, our purchases and sales etc. We do not lose that right when others have access to it. Without protection of that right, we qwill walk in fear of blackmail, extortion and law suits, as well as exposure to thieves, robbers and other intruders. Our speech will be chilled and that spells the end of free political speech and action, which means threats to freedom itself.

sWhen states ell personal information, they violate our right to privacy.The first step is being forced by the state to give up personal information to them. The only way to decline is to join with others and make the state back down. It’s not easy. If you refuse to supply your height, weight, and other info on your driving license, you probably will be refused an issue.You may soon have to decide on vaccination and on a vaccination card.

Will the government then sell your information to airlines and other merchants who will use it for their own purposes such as refusing to service you unless you are vaccinated? Or will the government use the information for its own purposes of threatening you and extorting some behavior?

We quickly are nearing many and large collisions between habitual free ways of life and totalitarian control over life.


2:38 pm on December 7, 2020