About 15 years ago, the most we had to worry about was junk mail and annoying telemarketing calls. Technology has accelerated the information exchange between companies and data brokers, putting your information on more than just mailing lists or call lists. Your name, gender, address, and telephone number were the basic bits of information companies collected from you back in the day. Now data brokers have taken information collection to the next level and gather everything from your children’s age, your income, education, birthdate, spending habits, online habits, and even pictures. When you sign up for offers at the cash register, companies will sometimes require they scan the RFID on your ID collecting perhaps even more data that is encrypted within.
Your information is stored in databases that rarely are purged; so your information can be used for studies and accessed at any time by anyone. Once a company decides to profit from your information, they will sell it and off it goes, getting posted on some people-search site somewhere or made available for an identity thief or database hacker. This can happen not just months later but years later. And because these records remain stored for such long periods of time, stalkers and identity thieves can get to this information and potentially go after you and your family.
So the question is, ‘What is your privacy worth to you?’ and police safety in an information age is just as important. As law enforcement you open yourself to threats and predatory risk just because of your job. Privacy for police officers and other public officials cannot be underestimated. A man just this past summer was sentenced to 18 years in prison for stalking a Chicago police officer. And regarding identity theft, about “10% of Americans have had their identities stolen, and on average, each of those individuals lost around $5,000.”* The risks far outweigh the costs involved to have your information removed from these programs. Your safety and finances are at stake and the best place to start is to protect both is by purchasing our privacy kits for you and your family. So what is your privacy worth to you?