Showing posts with label Jeffrey Chester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jeffrey Chester. Show all posts

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Trump Internet privacy action spells doom called BIG BROTHER

I worked in the junk mail industry for over 35 years and can vouch for the fact that your personal data is neither private nor is it protected to the extent it should be. So, it comes as no surprise to me that the Congress has just sent Donald Trump legislation that literally obliterates any advances in privacy that former President Obama was able to get passed. Here's the Washington Post's coverage of that milestone by the Federal Communications Commission. It blocked many of the plans of...
"...AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, which had hoped to use their privileged access to user data to build lucrative businesses by targeting advertising across multiple devices."
The greed for data is never-ending and many people ask me, why do you keep harping over the loss of more personal information like this if you claim that most of it is already out there...all over the world? My answer is the same when questioned about my advocacy for gun control, stating that putting more guns on the street won't help the problem like the NRA claims. It just results in more violent deaths as we've seen. Likewise, putting more personal data out there is a huge benefit to businesses wanting to track your personal data, but can end up resulting in more identity theft.

The simplest amount of private information can benefit the identity thieves in finding your most personal and exclusive data, like bank records, passwords, investments, etc. That small need is no more than name and date of birth. That's right, that small measure of data can be matched to your address, which is available everywhere including Facebook, which turns the crooks on to all the bells and whistles they use to walk right into your bank account. If you have never been to the Internet Underground take a look. You'll find your Social security number there if you look hard enough.

So, the Republican morons of Congress, because they want no obstacles in the way of corporate profit, have opened the door to "...what companies could do with information such as customer browsing habits, app usage history, location data and Social Security numbers..." by freeing the likes of AT&T, Verizon and Comcast from earlier restrictions. Here's more from the Senate...
"The Senate has already voted to nullify those measures, which were set to take effect at the end of this year. If Trump signs the legislation as expected, providers will be able to monitor their customers’ behavior online and, without their permission, use their personal and financial information to sell highly targeted ads — making them rivals to Google and Facebook in the $83 billion online advertising market."
Your personal data is sold to junk mail companies for solo offers and their catalog mailings which are in the billions every year. It also goes to other marketers and the financial industry, providing all of them the information necessary to come up with a profile of you that is so scary, it challenges the imagination. It's called targeting, and companies are getting so good that they can very accurately predict the results from any advertising campaign. And get this...
""...the Federal Communications Commission, which initially drafted the protections, will be forbidden from issuing similar rules in the future."
In other words, you no longer have even the minimum of protections, and I would make a bet right now, identity theft incidences will start climbing and 2017 could be a banner year.

Want to know what happens the minute you open your browser and start searching? How-To Geek explains the whole process...
"...your web browser stores data about your browsing history. When you visit a website, your browser logs that visit in your browser history, saves cookies from the website, and stores form data it can autocomplete later. It also saves other information, such as a history of files you’ve downloaded, passwords you’ve chosen to save, searches you’ve entered in your browser’s address bar, and bits of web pages to speed page load times in the future (also known as the cache)."
After reading this, think all is lost? Not really if you choose to use Chrome's "Incognito" window, or Private Browsing, or InPrivate Browsing, sites that will improve your ability to stay private, but are not proof positive. As an example, here is Incognito's caveat...
"Pages you view in incognito tabs won’t stick around in your browser’s history, cookie store, or search history after you’ve closed all of your incognito tabs. Any files you download or bookmarks you create will be kept.
However, you aren’t invisible. Going incognito doesn’t hide your browsing from your employer, your internet service provider, or the websites you visit."
So, with Donald Trump in the White House and as long as Republicans have control of Congress, my advice to you, and also from the top privacy advocates, GO INCOGNITO OR PRIVATE! 

If you're not completely sure yet, read this admonition from Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy...
“Today’s vote means that Americans will never be safe online from having their most personal details stealthily scrutinized and sold to the highest bidder.”
Privacy advocates have been attempting to convince the public for years to be careful who they give their private information to, especially things like your Social Security number and driver license number. Either of those numbers plus a name and address is an invitation for identity thieves to come in and help themselves to everything personal about you. Of course there is some credibility to the fact that the use of this data could help marketers to better target your needs. The problem with these people is, they never know when enough is enough. And the consumer is always the one who suffers.

By the way, the changes in the privacy rules were brought to you by none other than our do-willie Arizona Senator, Jeff Flake, who certainly lives up to his last name. He has been in office for three years and was polled as the most unpopular Senator in Washington, replacing Mitch McConnell. Now, in my opinion, anyone who could replace this asshole must be lower than the bottom of the barrel. Contact Jeff Flake and tell him what you think: Tell him we're all sick of Congress letting big business trample our rights.

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