Thursday, February 05, 2004

Misc: Slashdot - Decode Your Barcode, Get Your Personal Info

An earlier blog entry referred to the Swipe Toolkit. For those who are interested, there is a discussion going on about it at Slashdot:

Slashdot | Decode Your Barcode, Get Your Personal Info
"Posted by michael on Tuesday February 03, @09:21PM from the mark-of-the-beast dept.

Chris writes 'The Swipe Toolkit is a collection of web-based tools that sheds light on personal data collection and usage practices in the United States. The tools demonstrate the value of personal information on the open market and enable people to access information encoded on a driver's license or stored in some of the many commercial data warehouses. Check out the Data Calculator, which shows how much your personal info is worth, and how the data brokers get it. It's all part of the Swipe Project, which will be on exhibition at UC-Irvine in March.' "

One of my favorite entries is a suggestion to use a large speaker to effectively degauss the magnetic strip on the back of the license. This will effectively thwart anyone who wants to swipe the info off the back. Legit users won't be able to swipe it either, but the author seemed OK with that. (Of course, becuase it is "Slashdot: News for Nerds" the thread digressed into a discussion of whether it is better to use a big speaker, a small speaker, a hard-drive voice coil or a bulk degausser.)

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