Is there such a thing as privacy anymore? Your personal information is continually being collected, consolidated, sold, and otherwise used in ways that would shock you, on the web and in your everyday life. ShopSmart, a Consumer Reports publication, recently pointed out that many walk-in retailers are spying in new and hidden ways. The article states that,
“Video cameras record your every move. Your face and car’s license plate are captured and filed in searchable databases. Hidden cameras classify you by age, sex, and ethnicity, and even detect your body language and mood. Even your bank account records are being pried into. The main goal of these surveillance methods, of course, is to get you to shop more and spend more.”
Pay particular attention to the section at the bottom of the article that contains the proposed Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights. In that same section are tips for protecting your own privacy:
- Always read privacy policies on retailers’ websites.
- Also read the permissions you’re asked to give to an app before you download it to your phone.
- Be sure to recheck those policies periodically.
Unfortunately, many or most of us won’t be doing that. It’s hard, it takes time, and we have to THINK about it.
California recently proposed “The Right To Know Act”, a potentially groundbreaking consumer privacy law. If it is approved, companies would be required to reveal what kind of data they are collecting on individual consumers and how they share it.¹
From Presidential elections to your everyday activities, data collection is affecting your life. How we as a society deal with that issue determines our future.
For more information:
- Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You
- 10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing to Protect Your Privacy
- Adjust All of Your Privacy Settings From One Page
Spy photo courtesy of Dave Fayram’s Photostream on Flikr.com
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