Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Crime Privacy News

Data Broker Medbase200 Sold Lists of Rape & Domestic Violence Victims 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the stay-classy dept.
McGruber writes "During her testimony (PDF) at a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing Wednesday about the data-broker industry, Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, revealed that the Medbase200 unit of Integrated Business Services Incorporated had been offering a list of 'rape sufferers' on its website, at a cost of $79 for 1,000 names. The company, which sells marketing information to pharmaceutical companies, also offered lists of domestic violence victims, HIV/AIDS patients, and 'peer pressure sufferers.' In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Integrated Business Services Incorporated President Sam Tartamella initially denied that his company maintained or sold databases of rape victims. After the Journal provided him a link to the 'rape sufferers' page, he said he would remove it from Medbase200's website and denied ever having sold such a list. The page was removed later Wednesday."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Data Broker Medbase200 Sold Lists of Rape & Domestic Violence Victims

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    You don't need to know this information and you especially don't need to know this information in aggregate.

    • by Stormy Dragon (800799) on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:40PM (#45750329) Homepage

      So you want to ban the study of entire fields like sociology and economics, as well as things like the testing of new pharmaceuticals?

    • by HiThere (15173)

      Sorry, but what's wrong with the aggregated information? If information is properly aggregated, you can't use it to identify individuals. Perhaps you meant a different term? Only, I can't guess what term you meant.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:41PM (#45749915) Homepage Journal

    I think I'm starting a business which will sell data on the 1% to anyone who wants it. It's time to even the odds.

    • I'm in. Great idea. What do you need from me? A customer? An investor? A researcher? A developer?

    • by MRe_nl (306212) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:59PM (#45750077)

      Slashdot IS the 1%: You need just $34,000 annual income to be in the global elite.

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:16PM (#45750193)

        Slashdot IS the 1%: You need just $34,000 annual income to be in the global elite.

        I find that number to be wrong on many levels.

        First, 1% of the population is about 70M people.

        You're telling me that out of the population of the US, Canada and Western Europe, that only 70M of those people make more then $34,000?

        If they were all Americans, that means 3 out of every 4 Americans make less than $34,000, a number I feel is high, especially when you add in the populations of Western Europe.

        Additionally, I would think a there would be a significant number of those people in say, China (where income inequality is HUGE)..

        I would believe the number is much closer to the top 5-8% of the population makes $34,000+.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          You're telling me that out of the population of the US, Canada and Western Europe, that only 70M of those people make more then $34,000?

          That wouldn't surprise me too much. The inverse of the Labor Force Participation Rate (actual unemployment, as opposed to the reported unemployment statistic based on Americans eligible to receive unemployment benefits — it has run out for most Americans) is over 30% in the USA. And our populations are aging into retirement.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by PraiseBob (1923958)
          Welcome to the global elite. Don't worry, thanks to geography and luck, you don't even have to be good at math.
        • by citizenr (871508)

          time for eye opener
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM [youtube.com]

        • by Rob Riggs (6418)

          The top 1% in 2011 earned $47,500 (individual income) according to the web site cited below. That means that a family of 2 adults would need to make $95,000/yr to fall into the global 1%. For a family with 2 kids, a dog and a hamster, that total grows to $190,000/yr. Remember kids, this is individual income distribution across all people, not family income distribution or anything like that.

          Here is the source: http://www.globalrichlist.nl/how.asp [globalrichlist.nl]

          Not a too many American families make it into the global 1

          • In the United States 25% of the >15 year old population has a personal income > $50K

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org] .25 * 234 x 10^6 = 58.5 x 10^6.

            That's 0.8% of the world population.

            • by Rob Riggs (6418)

              In the United States 25% of the >15 year old population has a personal income > $50K

              You are mixing per-capita income (mine) with the income of wage earners (yours). That is the same misleading comparison the web site I linked to was tempting potential donors with.

              A clearer picture can be had by looking here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States [wikipedia.org]

              The first big table has "household income" as well as "household size". This shows that one needs to be near the top 10% before you get to "$47,500 per capita" rate that is considered "the global 1%".

              I am not downplay

              • I used the 2nd table which provides a straight histogram of the number of individuals in a particular income range. Per capita doesn't come into it at all.

                The household income table is much more difficult to interpret in this context.

                • by Rob Riggs (6418)

                  I used the 2nd table which provides a straight histogram of the number of individuals in a particular income range. Per capita doesn't come into it at all.

                  The household income table is much more difficult to interpret in this context.

                  Getting straight facts often takes a little effort. If you are not using per-capita income, you are throwing around numbers with no cited baseline. What is the top 1% for the numbers that you are using (with references)?

                  You have provided no credible sources for those figures at a global level. You started off with some random $50,000/yr figure and are comparing that to a completely different population group (wage earners). Apples::Oranges.

                  Here is another reference: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art [dailymail.co.uk]

          • Not a too many American families make it into the global 1% any more.

            Well, the US is ~5% of the world population. So I'd imagine 1/5 Americans would be the upper limit.

        • by nbauman (624611)

          You're telling me that out of the population of the US, Canada and Western Europe, that only 70M of those people make more then $34,000?

          If they were all Americans, that means 3 out of every 4 Americans make less than $34,000, a number I feel is high, especially when you add in the populations of Western Europe.

          http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html [census.gov]

          Per capita money income in past 12 months (2012 dollars) $28,051
          Median household income $53,046

          • by HiThere (15173)

            I really doubt those numbers. I suspect, e.g., that unemployed people are drastically undercounted. (This has been true in the past. I don't KNOW that it's true this time.) I'm certain that income from criminal activities is underreported. Etc. (There's also racial bias in the counts, and even some political bias...though that's usually accidental. You could say that about racial undercounting, also. Census takers are reluctant to interview truculent people in low-income areas, often due to fears of

            • by nbauman (624611)

              Economists have a few internal checks to correct for as many inaccuracies as they can.

              It doesn't have to be too accurate. It doesn't make much difference whether the per capita cash income is $25,000 a year or $30,000. It's still too low for an economy as successful as ours, with a cost of living as high as ours.

              The American capitalist system is the most successful economy in the world, isn't it?

      • I've heard $44k, but your point stands. If you have sole use of a car, you're pretty much a huge baller by global standards.

      • by H0p313ss (811249) on Friday December 20, 2013 @11:17PM (#45751449)

        Sometime around the age of 12 one of my children commented "I wish we were rich."

        I stopped the car and turned around, "We are rich." I said

        "Both your mother and I both earn enough money to have a house and a car. You are always clothed and fed, you never go to bed hungry and cold. You get to travel, play sports and get a good education. Nobody forces you to work, ever. You don't have to fetch water just to survive, morning noon and night"

        "Remember that there are tens of millions of people around the world who have none of these things, and you have them all."

        I turned around and continued driving.

        Years later my daughter reminded me of the conversation and how it had triggered a kind of awakening.

        • by nbauman (624611)

          Sometime around the age of 12 one of my children commented "I wish we were rich."

          I stopped the car and turned around, "We are rich." I said

          "Both your mother and I both earn enough money to have a house and a car. You are always clothed and fed, you never go to bed hungry and cold. You get to travel, play sports and get a good education.

          That must have been a long time ago, or you must have a lot of money. In order to get a good education today, you have to be rich. Not only does a college education cost at least $20,000 a year, but in the U.S. you usually have to live in an expensive neighborhood to go to a good K-12 education.

          Nobody forces you to work, ever.

          She never has to work? Even to make her living expenses? What does she have, a trust fund? She is rich.

          • by H0p313ss (811249)

            That must have been a long time ago, or you must have a lot of money. In order to get a good education today, you have to be rich. Not only does a college education cost at least $20,000 a year, but in the U.S. you usually have to live in an expensive neighborhood to go to a good K-12 education.

            No, we just live in a civilized country.

            She never has to work? Even to make her living expenses? What does she have, a trust fund? She is rich.

            Well
            A) Forced, are you forced to work?
            B) She was 12, I was talking about child labor.

      • $34,000/year in China or India is a lot. Not so in North America or Europe (lower middle-class at best in many places). You have to take in account the cost of living. I wouldn't even try living in New-York on that amount.

      • by sjames (1099)

        I'm pretty sure you know damned well what people mean by 'the 1%' and that that isn't it.

        Of course, the $34,000 figure is a very simple minded computation that fails to capture things like cost of living.

      • Slashdot IS the 1%: You need just $34,000 annual income to be in the global elite.

        Oh good! Thanks! You've convinced me that we need to do nothing about inequality!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:04PM (#45750113)

      No, it's time to change the copyright laws so the subject of information has joint ownership of copyright on the information, with no implicit licensing. In other words, if you collect data about me in the course of our business relationship, it's private, and you may not retransmit it without my explicit, informed consent.

      Captcha: nausea (how appropriate)

      • So you think Integrated Business Services ought to be allowed to take legal action against Pam Dixon for releasing information about them without having gotten their explicted informed consent first?

      • by tomhath (637240)
        So you agree that Snowden should be extradited and punished?
    • Here [google.com] you go. Now, good luck staying in business...
    • by JWSmythe (446288)

      I used to be in that business, I'll tell you ... it's already out there. I'm very glad I'm no longer anywhere near the industry. I'd feel better dealing with hitmen and druglords.

      Some of the Fortune 1000 crowd have their data flagged. If you have access to a service that provides such information, and you search for say "Bill Gates", there will be a shitstorm.

      We were told by some 3rd party data sources that we were contractually obliged to maintain a list of "high profile" people, so those searches w

  • by CanHasDIY (1672858) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:45PM (#45749953) Homepage Journal

    Medbase200 unit of Integrated Business Services Incorporated had been offering a list of 'rape sufferers' on its website, at a cost of $79 for 1,000 names. The company, which sells marketing information to pharmaceutical companies, also offered lists of domestic violence victims, HIV/AIDS patients, and 'peer pressure sufferers.'

    Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm going ahead and putting in my application with Uncle Enzo's CosaNostra Pizza Corporation...

  • Utterly despicable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chas (5144) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:48PM (#45749989) Homepage Journal

    As if these poor peoples' lives weren't already shitty enough.
    Now we have a bunch of marketeer ass-hats singling them out as unique business opportunities.
    Yet again, making me wish I owned a gun, yet glad I don't, since I'd shoot these motherfuckers in a heartbeat.

    • by jhumkey (711391) on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:01PM (#45750091) Journal
      I remember as a teenager, my mother telling about a miscarriage she had a few years after I was born (too young to remember). Apparently they did a D&C afterwards (to scrap residue off the walls). But, hospitals (at that time at least) must've listed some Abortions as D&C's.
      (At the time of the conversation) its 13+ years later and someone had just stolen some hospital records and was harrasing recent D&C patients for "having Abortions" . . .
      She was horror struck at what it must've been like, for those "want to be mothers", still suffering the tragedy of having lost a child unwillingly . . . to have some dipwad confront them and accuse them of having an Abortion.
      Patient records should be sacrosanct for a reason.
      • My wife had a miscarriage like this.

        Dipwad isn't the right word. I don't think human language is capable of expressing what this triggers in me.

        • by Chas (5144)

          Usually it's a non-verbal expression...

          It starts with a clenching of the fists...and ends with the bastard basically homogenized over every surface within eyesight.

    • Yet again, making me wish I owned a gun, yet glad I don't, since I'd shoot these motherfuckers in a heartbeat.

      79 bucks gets you a gun catalog and a list of these Mofos.

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:52PM (#45750033)

    You have to expect this, when the only legal and moral duty that directors and managers of their companies are to look after their shareholders. And even then, the shareholders get raped by the boss class.

    As a society, we reap what we sow, when we let them get sufficiently powerful, that they can simply buy favourable laws and regulations and tell the world to get fucked.

    This will be the undoing of Western civilisation -- our inability to contain the power of a feral, out-of-control overclass.

    • isn't the 'boss class' to blame? Seriously, Western Civilization really does seem to revel in self flagellation. Like a rape victim blaming themselves, which is weirdly appropriate (ironic? I can't remember the actual meaning of that word though... )
    • by sjames (1099)

      You have to expect this, when the only legal and moral duty that directors and managers of their companies are to look after their shareholders.

      Actually they have a duty to behave in an ethical and moral fashion as well as to obey the law. In theory their corporate charter is supposed to be on condition that the entity is a net good for the society at large.

      None of that is enforced, but that doesn't make it non-existant.

      I agree that it is well past time to start enforcing.

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Friday December 20, 2013 @06:57PM (#45750067)
    with, "if you've nothing to hide," I hope this will make you consider how much privacy has to do with simple human dignity.
    • The people who say that obviously don't know enough about themselves.

      With a USC so dense that even the feds themselves admit they have no way of knowing everything they've criminalized.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:04PM (#45750107)

      Not to mention safety. I was an IT contractor for a community outreach group that ran a number of safe homes for victims of rape and domestic violence. The addresses of those houses was very, very closely guarded, and the security measures in place to keep everything under wraps was dialed up to 11. Any lapses could potentially cost someone their life. Anyone responsible for selling this info needs to be locked up for a good, long time, and the articles of incorporation should be immediately dissolved.

    • you eloquent bastard, you have simply nailed the paradigm, and I applaud your truthiness

      Also for the other person mentioning doing IT work for rape shelter stuff - I bet it wouldn't be very hard to find volunteer armed guards for those types of safe houses. I personally, having known a few abuse victims, would view sitting around with a shotgun to ward off rapist/beaters as an honorable task. That would be a good community-outreach-volunteer program to get going in a lot of places: volunteer rape vict

  • by BradMajors (995624) on Friday December 20, 2013 @07:07PM (#45750139)

    She said they would remove the listing from their website. She did not say she would stop selling or even destroy such a list.

  • The question is never "Will they?". The question is always, "Can they?" And more to the point.. "Can they and still get away with it profitably?" So when you are puzzling over some abhorrent possibility, run it through that filter and you will invariably find your answer.
    • The question is actually simpler:

      "What's the revenue?"
      "What's the risk of being caught?"
      "What's the cost of being caught?"

      If A>B*C it will be done.

  • Let's just make sure he gets added to the list, then see how he feels about the subject!

  • That's a victimization term now? So 99.999% of the entire global population over the age of 3 are now classified as a victim.
  • They claim that the list was a fake list used for testing, but even that suggests something wrong. Surely test data should be more harmless and fanciful to make sure it doesn't go live. A disease like monday blues or foot-in-mouth disease would be a better choice, surely.

    • by nbauman (624611)

      People make mistakes. According to the New Scientist, a DP manager was creating a fund-raising letter for a charity's wealthy customers (the 1%?) and he set up a template letter with the salutation, "Dear Rich Bastard." It went out by mistake.

      Make sure you have a few safeguards in place to prevent things like that.

      • by sjames (1099)

        Sure, people do. 'Dear Rich Bastard' is funny (at least until you accidentally send it to someone). Rape victim isn't.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all alike.

Working...