While working at XMission, I received a call from someone who purported to be a marketer. He asked me if I would sell him my customer information. I told him no and that it was against our policy to give out any customer information without a court order. He pressed me further saying, “Come on, there has to be a price.” I refused again, stating that customer privacy was a very important part of XMission. He asked me a third time, “You’re sure?” I told him positively. He then lifted the ruse and said, “Good job, you’ve earned a new customer.”
Part of my business philosophy is to run the company as if I were a customer. I am frequently annoyed to find my personal information sold down the river by companies I do business with, so I decided never to do that to my own customers. In speaking before a Utah state committee on ISPs sharing customer information, I related this policy and asked why they were considering this in relation to only ISPs. Why aren’t other companies, by law, required to notify customers that their personal information is being rented out to the highest bidder?
If only our federal government treated privacy of the individual with the same concern. Instead of following clear constitutional rules, the attitude for some is, “Whatever we can get away with.” How would the officials responsible for these violations feel if their own private conversations were monitored? Why is transparency of the people more important to some officials than transparency in government?
Certainly national security is a concern that should not be diminished. However, our constitution does not deny warranted investigation. What it sets down are the rules for how that is to take place. When wiretaps, emails, or other communications are spied upon without proper court order, then we as Americans are losing a significant portion of our freedom. The constitution puts restraint on government for good reason, it rarely restrains itself.
I continue to advocate for the preservation and expansion of Fourth Amendment privacy rights. Conversely, if elected, my office will be as transparent as possible without violating others’ individual privacy.
Privacy is a fundamental right and value of America.