PreOwned machine privacy - Was: Acclaim Entertainment Indy (with data, emails, etc) on eBay

Tony Aiuto tony.aiuto at
Tue Mar 28 20:42:40 CDT 2017

On Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 6:51 PM, TeoZ via cctalk <cctalk at>

> How do you feel about reading dead presidents personal letters? At some
> point personal information ends up being historic information.
> If there is money (or more money) to be made associating a Computer to a
> company or specific somewhat famous people then sellers will play this
> angle for all it is worth. Anything done on company machines *is not
> private to begin with.* What exactly are we going to learn other then
> people asking for vacation days, so and so is a shitty boss, the company
> probably used some pirated software, and early artwork or code for games
> might have been pretty shitty.

"not private to begin with" is a conveniently loose interpretation of the
law. What you do on a company computer is certainly available information
to the company - I won't argue that. You can not, however, conflate that
with the many things that might be stored on company computers are
protected from disclosure outside the company and individual. A
conversation with HR about recovery from your alcoholism would certainly be
protected from disclosure.

> I get computers all the time with hard drive intact full of company data
> (some defunct, others not) and peoples personal files, music, videos, and
> photos. I don't bother looking at any of it, only backing up hard to find
> drivers or software keys then wiping the drive. If I did come across a user
> that was famous (or infamous) I would probably preserve it (remove the
> drive and store it somewhere) while going about my hobby interest with the
> machine.
> Everything we do today is digital, sooner or later there will be no
> written records at all. In the distant future historians will want to know
> what we were doing in 2017 and they will have nothing to go by since all
> the websites will be long gone and all our files will have been erased or
> saved using backup methods nobody can make heads or tales of let alone find
> the programs that can read the files and computers that the programs can
> run on.

Maybe the wayback machine will keep this all, but that is not irrelevant to
this thread.

> So I think a small random fraction of users lives should be around to
> learn from.

But we are not talking about users from the distant past. We are talking
about people who are still alive today - and probably discoverable with an
easy web search. We should respect their privacy.

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