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Home Business & Finance Who collects private personal data and how to stop them

Who collects private personal data and how to stop them

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Privacy—battered though it is by what Al Gore referred to as our “stalker economy” where customers become the products—is something we still apparently hold dear—at least enough that every service you sign up for offers a privacy policy.But before diving into the disintegration of privacy and what to do about it, we must define privacy and why it’s important. William Parent suggests that privacy is control over personal information. Jeffrey Reiman says it’s important as a key “social ritual the group communicates to the individual that her existence is her own,” and that it’s “a precondition of personhood.”Privacy, defined this way, has a history long on aspiration and short on delivery. […] To some, like Oracle’s Scott McNealy, that’s completely (and self-servingly) as it should be: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.” […] While they do collect (some of) your data, many have demonstrated a genuine interest in using that data to deliver a richer customer experience while prioritizing your privacy—brands that seem to care deeply about the privacy of their customers, while at the same time aiming to provide the fair exchange of beneficial products and services for reasonable personal data. […] Decide how they intend to profit from your data, and what risk you incur by their actions.


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