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Chapter 6. PRIVACY AND UNCLE SAM

Chapter 6. PRIVACY AND UNCLE SAM

Nobody knows more about you than your Uncle Sam. From cradle to grave you spill information like bread crumbs, which gets scooped up by one governmental entity after another.

Computers have greatly expanded your Uncle's power to store and track every salient detail of your life. They make it easier for the Census Bureau to manage huge volumes of information (leading to more intrusive questionnaires), and for the IRS to pick candidates for tax audits (leading to Hell on earth). They also can provide your friends, neighbors, and other snoops a browser's-eye view of your family dramas, financial dilemmas, faulty driving, and much more. Let us not forget Uncle Sam's stepchildren—the many states, counties, cities, boroughs, and their panoply of agencies, small and large, that likewise trail you like a bloodhound hunting a possum. Unfortunately, government bureaucracies are notorious for being on the trailing edge of technology, especially when it comes to keeping your information safe and secure. Whether through carelessness or maliciousness, data tends to leak out in damaging and embarrassing ways.


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