Friday, January 06, 2006

Candidates for Governor try to top each other on privacy in Minnesota

I've typed the word Minnesota more times in the last week than the entire previous decade. I used to sometimes spell it Minnesoda, but I've gotten much more practice as of late.

Readers will have noted two recent posts on developments in Minnesota, particularly related to the sale of bulk drivers' license data. The AG of the state, Mike Hatch, has proposed to ban the practice. He's also a hopeful for the Governor's office. The incumbent has also been talking privacy and identity theft, paticularly focusing on making ID more secure so that the risk of impersonation is reduced. California is at the forefront of privacy protection in the United States, but I do not recall privacy being a large election issue. Passing those trail-blazing laws was just something that was done by the legislature after it was in power. The situation in Minnesota seems a bit different; the candidates are making privacy an issue and are actually talking about reforms they'd like to see. I wonder if this is based on a belief that consumers now care in large enough numbers to give privacy a real constituency. Is this also the beginning of a trend?

Check out: Governor is seeking privacy law changes. Thanks to Adam at Emergent Chaos: Privacy Competition in Politics for the link and his thoughts on the topic.

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