Your secret permanent records that are up for sale every day

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  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    Feb. 17, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    This article ignores Google. True, they aren't a "data broker"--they don't sell their data, but they are the most egregious example of an organization that knows EVERYTHING about us (whether or not we use Google search). Best example that few realize: the Traffic feature in Google Maps tracks traffic congestion on major thoroughfares. How? They track cell phones in the cars! They don't have to be Android phones, but merely to have Google Location Services enabled. Now, if you think Google stops tracking you when you park your car and enter the store (or church, Federal Court, the hospital, the gym, etc.) you are naive. GPS technology is now granular enough Google knows which products you stopped in front of and your location when you Googled the reviews for the Sony TV. If you check out using Google Wallet, they now have the complete picture.

    A couple of years back, Google's StreetView camera trucks were caught vacuuming info from unsecured home networks. Many felt safe behind their password protection, not realizing Google gathered enough web address info to recognize you even if you're surfing "anonymously" from your home. Do we trust Google?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 16, 2014 2:09 p.m.


    I couldn't agree more. Firefox + Adblock and tracking prevention is a good step in the right direction. But to be truly 'untrackable' even more would have to be done. Most users will never take advantage of it. The real thing we need is either 1- companies to change (which won't happen), 2- laws to change (likely won't happen, and not sure that more political involvement is good anyway), or 3- we need a one-stop-shop software solution that will 100% eliminate the hassle and invasion of privacy. The problem is that there are too many plugins, too many things to manage, to reinstall, to update, etc.

    We just need a new paradigm in browser or network software...

  • PM64 Orem, UT
    Feb. 15, 2014 3:12 a.m.

    My daughter wanted a handbag from Victoria's Secret for Christmas. I bought it and had it shipped to her. Guess who now gets the Victoria's Secret catalog on a regular basis? (And I REALLY tried to find a place on their website to opt out of getting any mail or advertising from them!)

    Use Firefox as your browser with the Adblock, Better Privacy, and Tracker Block add-ons. I don't see ads anymore, sites can't track my internet usage, and Google and Facebook are blocked from following me around. Adobe Flash isn't allowed to do it either. Pages load LOTS faster!

    Our kids are going to need a completely new ID when they turn 18 with the way they give their data away and companies track it. Target may know your daughter is pregnant before you do. Their customer tracking was so good that one enraged father screamed at them for sending his daughter ads for baby stuff, then was forced to apologize shortly after saying "Some things went on around here that I wasn't aware of." Scary!

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Provo, UT
    Feb. 14, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    They can get all the inaccurate data they want...

    I bought something for my mom once on Amazon. I still get adds tailored to that purchase cause they think I'm interested in women's products.

    I google something for school, for my own curiosity, or for a friend. These things to not qualify the "normal me" or what I'm really interested in buying. To be honest, most 'tailored advertisements' I see are way off.

    Let them collect what they want. It's not morally great, but they won't get what they want in the end anyway.

  • State Of Corruption Cottonwood Heights, Utah
    Feb. 13, 2014 2:51 a.m.

    The Article has some valid points and invalid points. To know what underwear she purchased or to know who may or may not be pregnant means she would have had to use a "in store" credit card that tracks "all" your purchases in the stores database like Smiths and Wal - Mart for example. With a credit card they have "no way" to track her purchases and it is highly illegal should vendors sell that data. "Data brokers make unwarranted assumptions about people based on what they know about those people." Agreed, some people keep a low profile in fact some use credit cards not in their name like company issued cards which makes tracking anything much more difficult if at all possible without error. Point being is that there is privacy if people would take time and look at just how backward some companies they trust really are vs some take pride in sealing your information and keeping it private.

  • Mamma C HEBER CITY, UT
    Feb. 12, 2014 1:43 p.m.

    The same thing is happening using our schools. When you register your child for school, you have entered him/her into the State Longitudinal Database System, a P-20 system, meaning that it can track people from preschool through age 20 and beyond. This system was paid for with $9.6 million federal ARRA dollars in Utah. Every state has one. They use the (SIF and PESC) interoperability systems so they can all share data. Unless our legislature creates protective bills this will only get worse. Most schools don't even know what the state does with the data they are submitting from their schools. The toughest part is that so many organizations make money off this public-private partnership racket that few Utah leaders will take a stand even to protect our children. It's money making to the educational sales vendors, of which we have many. Opt out of the standardized tests and insist that your child take paper and pencil alternatives. Don't participate in school surveys, especially not attitude, belief or psychology based surveys. They do label children for the rest of their lives.

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    "giving up personal information is the price people pay to do things on the Internet.

    "I consider it standard practice," he says. "So much that we do is free. That is the cost of free."

    Pretty flippant attitude, if you ask me.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Feb. 11, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    George Orwell must be spinning in his grave knowing That his Novel "1984" was pretty close to being spot on. Albeit about 30 years late in arriving. Add in the Future use and abuse of Spy Drones. One wonders if eventually we will walk not drive to work or the store in a disguise and only buy things with cash. Or failing that use have a dummy Rewards card address to get Grocery Market Discounts. George's beloved London has the dubious honor of being the most heavily surveiled place on Earth. Sheesh, Is it too late to sign up for the Mars emmigration Lottery?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 11, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    Why is this a bad thing? If I'm going to get junk mail, I'd rather have it be stuff I might be interested in instead of stuff I have no use for. You're going to get junk mail no matter what, but would I rather it be ads about golf clubs (which I have no interest in) or aviation (which I am interested in)?

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    Sounds like we are "owned" not only by the government, but businesses too. Word to the wise, nothing is private anymore - think twice before you buy, sell, speak, or act. The Internet, while a useful tool is turning into a hornet's nest, full of savage data miners who only want money and power. They aren't really trying to be helpful by providing things they think you'd be interested in because at the root of it all is money. The more we click the more greedy they become.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Feb. 11, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    I use FireFox for most Internet activities and Internet Explorer any time I use Google or Facebook.
    I refuse to use Gmail or any other email service that scans my messages for content.
    I never get a card of any kind from a store. Discounts are not worth it.
    Health insurance companies want to know how much red meat people buy (and potato chips, and candy, etc.). County governments have tried to get Big Box Stores to disclose who is buying lots of stuff. They are looking for people that are doing home improvement projects without a permit. Penalties and tax increases to follow...

    The cost of being the target of spying is high.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 7:10 a.m.

    And we are worried about NSA. This dat6a gathering ought to be illegal. Business can do just fine without it. They can observe buying patterns without narrowing it down to individuals. Advertisements sent in the mail to individuals by name should also be outlawed. The two go together. Especially, credit card offers, with names printed on them. An invitation to ID theft - they must be shredded, which is annoying, since so many are sent.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Feb. 11, 2014 5:36 a.m.

    Use cash, problem salved.