An Indiana University law professor who’s considered an expert on privacy issues will speak to about 200 Iowa bankers and legislators tonight in Des Moines. Dr. Fred Cate, director of the Information Law and Commerce Institute at Indiana-U, says it’s sometimes good that the privacy of consumers is “invaded” by companies.He say some banks and credit card companies keep close watch on how we spend money and what we spend it on and thus, may be able to inform us when our checkbooks or credit cards have been stolen. While most of us hate junk mail, Dr. Cate says much of the junk mail we get is targeted for us as individuals. He says the companies that send the stuff out are allowed to learn a little about our private lives before mailing us the ads.Without that peek into our private lives, we might be getting a ton more junk mail that has nothing to do with our lives — like renters getting information on homeowners insurance or people with no kids receiving fliers on diaper sales. Cate says federal law requires all banks to send customers a detailed brochure every year on how privacy information is being used.He calls that another example of the price of privacy. Cate is in Des Moines to address the management conference of the Iowa Bankers Association.
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