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An Epidemic of Snooping 163

Travoltus writes "Privacy advocates are frequently confronted with the rhetorical question, 'If you don't have anything to hide, you don't have a good reason to worry about losing your privacy, right?' This AP story uncovers a vast, distributed, decentralized epidemic of snooping into databases of personal information by workers at major utilities, the IRS, and other large organizations. In a number of cases these incidents have led to real harm. One striking example involves now ex-Mayor of Milwaukee Marvin Pratt, who had a pattern of being late paying his heating bills. This fact was leaked to the media by a utility worker and may have led to Pratt's losing a bid for re-election. As one can imagine, the harm becomes much greater when this same snooping is done by Government officials to deal with political enemies, or by corporations to uncover whistleblowers."

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.