In just about 15 seconds, someone can find out the city you live in, your age, how much you make, and who you are related to. In about 3 minutes, someone can pay less than $20 to order information about you comparable to your credit report profile and have it for their own personal use. As a police officer or judge, would you really want this information floating around about you in cyber space? It is easy to overlook this very important part of your privacy, making it even easier for someone you apprehended or sentenced to prison to stalk you or your family. Sites like Intelius, Spokeo and dozens of others make this possible, with the propensity to have your life endangered by even the most unsuspecting of stalkers in a sea of millions across our country.
It is not enough to protect just your privacy at home anymore. The reality of living in America is that we must be concerned about our online reputations, the information that is made available about us in cyber space. Having never touched a computer does not preclude your information from going on the internet nor keeping someone from accessing it. Just a few dollars and your life and family’s lives becomes an open book.
Chris Hoofnagle is a lecturer at UC Berkeley Law School. He said the marketing sector has continually demonstrated the inability to police itself. Lawsuit after lawsuit occur practically every day as companies violate the few laws or use subversive tactics to capture your information, leaving you and your family vulnerable. Multi million and billion dollar companies have a need to make money off your data to track buying activities and personal interests to drive sales, leaving little room for your say so once they capture your information. The industry calls this data brokering which is a multi-billion dollar industry. The more times your information can be sold, the more money you are making someone, somewhere, from very large corporations to one person operations. Companies are even looking to find ways to access social networking profiles, collecting whatever data they can get away with, even collecting pictures in an attempt to put a face to your data in a process called facial recognition.
So it is imperative for you to pay attention to your privacy data, like you would your own credit report, and for some, this means life or death. As a public official, you are not immune to stalking, identity theft and all the ills that can result from an industry that is little regulated. You have to make a conscious choice to take this matter of privacy into your own hands. According to Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in their recent article titled Facial Recognition is a Threat to Your Privacy, there are 3 things you can do to protect your privacy:
- Educate yourself
- Support legislation that defends privacy
- Avoid companies with poor privacy practices
And just as important, be proactive about this matter. Do not wait for someone else to do it for you because the truth is, no one else will. You can get our privacy protection and confidentiality kit for public officials and take control of your privacy today. Our kit can help protect you and your whole family by opting you and your family out of data broker databases. You can take control of your privacy data and have more peace of mind when it comes to your safety.