Courtesy of Firefox
Privacy is a luxury, especially when dealing with luxury real estate buyers and sellers. Here are some ways that you can insure it, at least for yourself.
According to a CNN article, we discovered that Internet “BIG” Data Mining & Brokering companies now represents “a $300 billion-a-year business that employs 3 million people in the United States alone” according to McKinsey Global Institute. Focusing more on big data is most likely an important reason for merger talks between the 2nd and 3rd largest global advertising firms, so they can better compete with the likes of Google and Facebook—the biggest aggregators of personal information on earth.
The largest company, Acxiom, provides “analytical services” on 144 million households. They are aware of your name, your phone number, where you live, your buying habits and much more. You may wish to have Internet sites know your personal preferences, with your deliberate permission. That way they can recommend products and services to you. But, there are now hundreds if not thousands of sites that are potentially tracking or even stalking Internet users (and their kids), sites that they may not know about.
Do Not Track
To get a better idea of how this phenomenon has grown exponentially in recent years please watch this brief TED Talk video, by Firefox CEO Gary Kovacs. Prepare to be amazed! Fortunately, there is something you can do about this on Firefox (click here).
Delete Me / Mask Me
The CNN report also pointed us to Abine.com that has tools to delete your personal information on the Internet. According to Abine, “Nearly everything you do leaves a trace, and data brokers collect this information to create and sell public profiles about you”. Their subscription based service, DeleteMe, removes:
- Your public profile from leading data sites
- Contact, personal, and social information
- Photos of you, your family, and your home
You can also stop giving out your personal information online altogether, with their other service MaskMe. Says Abine, “No company can guarantee that they will keep your data private. If you give out your email, phone, or credit card number, you now have to assume it's recorded and potentially shared, lost, or stolen. Now you can simply stop giving it out with MaskMe”.
Beware of companies that pretend to offer a “do not track” service. Some are actually tracking companies in disguise. Privacy is definitely a luxury. But, it is up to you, individually, to protect your own.
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