Now THIS is Big Brother...

How creepy is this? Here in Utah it's now written into the law that if you want to trade or sell used CDs, DVDs or videogames, you must give a complete set of fingerprints to the shop you're trading with. A colleague of mine had this happen to him yesterday and essentially told the store that they'd made that policy up, and that it was total BS. I'd have done exactly the same thing. But I looked it up. Apparently it came into law this year and it's allegedly supposed to stem the trade of stolen goods. Problem is that nobody in their right mind is ever going to volunteer a complete set of prints just to sell a $5 CD. To put that into perspective, you can sell a multi-thousand dollar car to somewhere like CarMax with nothing more than the title and your driving license. Not a fingerprint in sight.

Dig a little deeper and you'll find the two government agencies behind this are the RIAA, and the FBI. In fact it turns out to be the Patriot Act doing its thing. Essentially, scouring as much info about you as possible in methods designed not to arouse suspicion. Data mining.

It happens everywhere. Last time I was at the doctor's office, they asked me a question which was clearly part of this type of data mining directive. Slipped in amongst the usual questions about height, general health and such, the doc asked me if I had a living will and wanted the names of any beneficiaries. I could understand this (maybe) if I was going in for a life-threatening operation, but not when going in for joint pain. I just refused to tell him.


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