How your privacy can be invaded …

Posted: June 22, 2013 by IntentionalPrivacy in Privacy, Social media
Tags: , , , , ,

This article about how you give up your privacy from CNN is eye-opening, http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/living/buzzfeed-data-mining/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

I tried the link listed in the article http://youarewhatyoulike.com/. I thought their specific findings were interesting although not all that accurate.

Data Mining Is Scary

How does shopping affect my privacy?

I like the products that Target carries and the stores are usually clean and well-stocked. You can even sometimes find a clerk to help you when you need one. But I am seriously creeped out by the amount of data they carry on each person who shops there. A couple of weeks ago, I bought some items at Target and the clerk was very aggressive about getting me to sign up for their “REDcard.” The REDcard is a Target-branded debit card that allows you to save an extra 5% on your purchases from their stores. I declined, saying  I wanted to find out more information before I signed up and I was also in a hurry, but the clerk kept pushing, which only reinforced my decision not to sign up. My husband was surprised at my decision because I like to save money. But I value my privacy and I also don’t like feeling I’m being railroaded into a hasty decision that I might regret later.

When I got home, I immediately started researching the Target REDcard. I am not the only person to find their data-mining tactics offensive. If you’re interested, you can read this NY Times article on how organizations data mine an individual’s shopping habits http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/magazine/shopping-habits.html?_r=5&ref=business&pagewanted=all&

Credit.com also wrote a series of articles on the Target REDcard:

What’s the bottom line?

  1. Read those pesky agreements that you receive when you sign up for any kind of debit/credit card. If you don’t like the terms, don’t accept the card.
  2. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some great articles on protecting your privacy. I highly recommend “4 Simple Changes to Stop Online Tracking.”
  3. You can remove tracking cookies specific to a website by following these directions http://www.ehow.com/how_6367641_remove-amazon-tracking-cookies.html or you can decide not to accept any third-party cookies.
  4. Install browser tools such as Ghostery or AdBlockPlus, and enable Do Not Track.
  5. Here’s an article on how to opt out of Facebook’s ads http://gizmodo.com/5989550/how-to-opt-out-of-facebooks-new-targeted-ads
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