The privacy issue comes up on occasion and I thought it was time to put some of it to bed for the last time. If any of this is in the public records and Internet they are not considered private. Neither is your email if you use it to talk to many government agencies.
I have posted a picture that I was mentioning in other articles. I have edited it although I had no legal obligation to do so. It have been on the internet since 2009, emailed and I am guessing still on some social media sites. I know for a fact it is on one as it came to me in a report.
Privacy items OMB. PII
- Full name (if not common) Rare names and not normally available on the internet.
- Email address (if private from an association/club membership, etc.)
- National identification number
- IP address (in some cases)
- Vehicle registration plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Credit card numbers
- Digital identity
- Date of birth
- Genetic information
Might be considered PII in some cases but is generally not considered PII information.
- · Country, state, or city of residence
- · Age, especially if non-specific
- · Gender or race
- · Name of the school they attend or workplace
- · Grades, salary, or job position
- · Criminal record
NONE of these are considered private if you have given them out to people or posted them on the internet. If you post your state and picture on the Facebook or other social media type groups before their change of TOS then those items about you are no longer private.
Notice the first item. Even if the name is private, you can still use part of it just not the whole name. It means this, my name is not private, but it could be used as David, Dave, DG, DLG, George, D. George, L.George, D.L. George and technically it could be used as David George with a middle initial because full names include middle names not just initials. Normally states and most federal agencies consider the full name as being the one listed on your birth certificate including the middle name. If you read the article on help with a name you would get more information on this. I chose to remove her name and blur her picture out of courtesy to her. Yes she infringed my photos and other things but that does not mean I should act outside of who I am.
Photos of you posted by you or “friends” on social media are probably not private and could be already all over the world. Addresses shown by people searches as White Pages are not private. Government records may or may not be private but some are sold. Florida used to routinely sell drivers license information which at that time contained social security numbers. If you had a Florida driver’s license a few years ago or earlier, your social security number was probably sold many times by the state of Florida.
Do a search for yourself in the white pages search and see who is tied to your name, your addresses, marriages and all that from a single and only somewhat accurate site. Do a search on Google and several other for photos of you that you posted. Once posted you have no claim to privacy on photos of you unless they are used for purposes other than ID. They should not sell them but other countries can do that. Remember, you put it on the internet and our laws stop at the borders.
Get real and do not worry about privacy as you really probably have already given it up somewhere. Check out HIPPA, health records, Facta about financial records and COPPA for children under 13.
One other thing, you have to show some kind of harm and that it is something that could not be found without the information posted. If someone posted my name, address and email address all over the net including phone numbers it is not a violation of my privacy as it is on the net already. There are some photos of me on the net. I have very little chance of saying anything about privacy except the ones I put up are old ones. Some of the new ones where not posted by me.
This is not a complete story on the issues and some of these items on the list are not covered under other rules as some others add more to it. In the US it is a patch quilt system while in Europe it is a single set of rules that apply to all. Do not ask about the rest of the world. The internet is worldwide but your privacy or personal information rights are not.
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice. It is general information readily available on the internet and libraries. It is my opinion and not to be used as legal advice. Any questions concerning the list should be directed to the OMB.