Jane Doe And The $560 Million Privacy Question

Forbes 4 days ago

Sam Safa, of Merrimack, N.H., center, owner of Reeds Ferry Market, greeted customers at the entrance to the convenience store, Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Merrimack. A lone Powerball ticket sold at Reeds Ferry Market matched all six numbers to win a $560 million jackpot. Reeds Ferry Market, which received a $75,000 prize for selling the winning ticket, was reportedly inundated with calls from people asking for money.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Score one for privacy. A New Hampshire judge ruled yesterday that the New Hampshire $560 million Powerball winner can indeed retain her anonymity.

These days, it’s a rare case of privacy winning, as for most of us the growing transparency of our lives increasingly seems to trump any deliberate personal choice as our habits and preferences are often shared on social media or monitored by marketers both on- and offline. And more often than not, most of us make a tradeoff in favor of divulging personal information.

And it is a trade — whether we consciously think of it that way or not — between disclosing personal details and sometimes a very hazy benefit. There might be some literal, monetary value as is the case with customer loyalty cards generating savings or a matter of more general convenience such as with online shopping or on-demand viewing. The awareness that youre being tracked at times only becomes apparent when you receive that wacky piece of junk mail way out of your demographic (cemetery plots were recently marketed to me) or a mismatched “based on your past purchases” recommendation rises to the top of a “personalized” shopping list that you would never place there yourself. And some people seem to actively cultivate exposure by leaving settings public on Venmo accounts or in an apparent expectation that there is no privacy anyway and so therefore decide to seek the best rewards for their info. (There are even guides to free apps and how to swing the best deals.)

But perhaps it takes a whopping, $560 million amount and, yes, that anonymous New Hampshirite to raise the question of what privacy is worth protecting. In his ruling, Judge Charles S. Temple of the Hillsborough Superior Court Southern District, acknowledged this thorny issue concerning Jane Doe, as she was identified by the court with: “the threshold issue is whether Ms. Doe has a privacy interest in the nondisclosure of her name and hometown,” according to the ruling.

That risk of exposure was likely high, with Judge Temple citing potential harassment as other winners of large lottery prizes “have been routinely subject to unwanted contact,” according to the ruling. In it, he laid out Ms. Doe’s reference to past news reports such as an Illinois winner who was mailed more than 1,000 letters from strangers “trying to tug at his heartstrings” not to mention the scare of a bomb threat called to his home or even the much milder expectation from people in bars that he would buy a round of drinks. Even the law firm, Shaheen and Gordon, representing Ms. Doe, “has been bombarded with solicitations from various individuals seeking to capitalize on her winnings,” according to the ruling. The store Reeds Ferry Market, where the ticket was purchased and which received a $75,000 prize for selling the winning ticket was, according to the ruling, “inundated with nonsense calls from people asking for money … Some callers have [even] requested that [the owner] buy them a new home.

Other lottery winners have found themselves in grave physical danger. The ruling cites a shocking case where the “defendant robbed home, murdered one person, shot another person, and assaulted a child in attempt to steal $2,700 lottery ticket.”

Yes, massive lottery payouts like Jane Doe’s may be an extreme example. And true, most of us won’t find ourselves in such a position of wondering whether or not we would choose to protect our privacy in such an instance. (In this situation, the situation was unique because Jane Doe signed the back of the ticket even though New Hampshire permits winners to establish a trust to collect the proceeds on their behalf and protect their anonymity.) But as Alessandro Aquisti and Jens Grossklags outlined in a 2007 paper, (What Can Behavioral Economics Teach Us About Privacy?), most of us may be ill-equipped to adequately value our privacy anyway.

Source link
Read also:
Miami Herald Finance 5 days ago
A western Illinois city is asking for a $20 million federal grant to restore its natural fish habitats. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports the city of...
The Telegraph Lifestyle 5 days ago
The elderly will be able to stay in their homes for longer under a multi-million government scheme to develop products and services to help Britain’s...
The Sun 5 days ago
RADIO presenter Dave Berry has secretly tied the knot with his girlfriend Sarah-Jane Davies. The Absolute Radio host proposed to his partner last...
UPI.com Technology 5 days ago
The New York Jets have the most salary cap space in the NFL, according to Over the Cap. The Jets have about $89.9 million to spend before reaching...
Forbes 4 days ago
Credit: ESL ESL One finally heads to the UK. ESL has revealed ESL One Birmingham, a $1 million Dota 2 Major that will be held in the UK’s second...
Forbes 4 days ago
(Photo by Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) When this New Hampshire woman won the $560 million Powerball jackpot in January, she...
The Sun Finance 4 days ago
HOLIDAYMAKERS are being urged to check that their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is still valid as almost three million expired last year...
The Huffington Post Politics 4 days ago
Ivanka Trump’s permanent government security clearance seems to be twisting in the wind, like her husband’s. That may be because she continues...
VentureBeat Technology 4 days ago
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–March 13, 2018– Moogsoft, a leading provider of artificial intelligence for IT operations (AIOps), today announced $40...
OCRegister Incident 4 days ago
President Donald Trump is coming to California today, his first visit to the state since becoming president. He’s expected to check out prototypes...
One click to connect
Select a social network to associate your account