I Predicted This Years Ago

Inside Bay Area – Lawyers dig into FasTrak data reports that civil and divorce lawyers are using commuter records to make their cases,

As the number of cash-free bridge commuters rises, so do the ranks of divorce lawyers and other civil attorneys who have subpoenaed, and received, personal driving records from the agency that oversees the regional e-toll system.

Subpoenas that MediaNews obtained under the state Public Records Act turned up several cases over the last two years in which the Metropolitan Transportation Commission released FasTrak subscriber records in civil disputes.

The records include logs of the date, exact time and bridge where a car using FasTrak rolls through a toll plaza at any of the eight Bay Area spans.

“Part of the reason Fred has not had success … is that he takes too much time off,” claimed a woman who sought her husband's toll activity in one divorce case. “His transponder records … will show how little he works.”

I predicted this a long time ago when I wrote about technology and privacy, notably in The Death of Privacy?, 52 Stan L. Rev. 1461 (2000).

Here's the table of contents:


  A. Routinized Low-Tech Data Collection
    1. By the United States Government
    2. Transactional data
  B. Ubiquitous Surveillance
    1. Public spaces
      a. Cameras
      b. Cell phone monitoring
      c. Vehicle monitoring
    2. Monitoring in the home and office
      a. Workplace surveillance
      b. Electronic communications monitoring
      c. Online tracking
      d. Hardware
    3. Biometrics
    4. Sense-enhanced searches
      a. Looking down: satellite monitoring
      b. Seeing through walls
      c. Seeing through clothes
      d. Seeing everything: smart dust

   A. The Constraints
     1. The economics of privacy myopia
     2. First Amendment
      a. The First Amendment in public places
      b. The First Amendment and transactional data
     3. Fear
   B. Making Privacy Rules Within the Constraints
     1. Nonlegal proposals
      a. “Self-regulation.”
      b. PETs and other self-help
     2. Using law to change the defaults
      a. Transactional data-oriented solutions
      b. Tort law and other approaches to public data collection
      c. Classic data protection law


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5 Responses to I Predicted This Years Ago

  1. boyd says:

    Michael, it’s all a very interesting issue. To me, I think as long as it’s not abused, which by what you’re saying, it seems to be, it could be beneficial. It certainly deserves a large debate. I wrote this piece today: http://www.unboundedition.com/content/view/741/50/

  2. baowms says:

    The paper sounds great. Can you fix the link? (404 error).

  3. Michael says:

    Link fixed. For future reference, almost all my papers are available from my homepage.

  4. Ann Bartow says:

    Any numeric predictions about upcoming lotteries?

  5. baowms says:

    Thank you!

Comments are closed.