Rich people hire “reputation management” companies to opt out of these services for them every month
Does anyone have any idea what the order of magnitude is here? I would think this is something that could be automated enough to bring the cost down to the 10s of dollars range.
With the right economy of scale, even less. But how many people actually care? I expect the market is not limited to “the rich,” but probably it’s mostly successful professionals who have a little dough and a reputation to protect.
“opt out” indeed! How about explaining to them once that I own my personal data, and that their use of it will incur a tactical strike upon their office? Problem solved either way. It’s a lot easier to find out where a data broker lives - literally and figuratively - than it is an individual.
“If you make me tell you again, I’m coming over there! K-byeee!”
Another thing to consider is: where are the brokers getting your personal information from? Probably from those who you do business with. It could be worthwhile to be more discriminating with TOSs, user agreements, and other contracts. You might need to re-nogotiate these things and hand them back. For instance, if your bank account requires that they can share random information about you with whoever they choose, add some pesky details such as that you need to personally review the shared info first, or that you require specifics about who it is sold to. Be aware though, you might need to struggle to negotiate these terms with every service you use.
More and more, it seems the right answer is to go the opposite direction from those playing along with the rigged game. Don’t generate real data in the first place: Bitcoin-based payments for phone and data services under an assumed name; shared “loyalty cards” or assumed named registration ones; there’s a huge undocumented class in the US that pays its bills and gets its groceries and doesn’t show up in databases so much, and they do it without paying a dime or a minute of their attention.
Unfortunately, it gets harder the more you get into upper-middle-class territory behaviors… if you buy land, you show up in tax assessment records, etc… while the rich just buy behind corporate identities to obscure personal details as well as shield from legal and tax attacks.
What other ways do we have to generate no information or poison what is collected in the first place?
Pretty much just live like the Unibomber. Don’t drive, pay taxes, own property, use the phone, get online, or go to school.
Well, there’s also my friend Jed I. Mindtrick, or at least that’s what the name he’s got on his phone, cable, and other utility bills says.
I used to think he was a bit paranoid, but damn if that’s not looking like a better and better course these days.
Or legislators can get serious and write privacy laws with teeth that put a stop to this ridiculous situation.
There is no way anymore to stay anonymous. You leave traces everywhere now, it’s became too hard.
Being anonymous is not the same has having privacy. Anyway, it doesn’t merely “happen to be” difficult to have privacy - it has been deliberately made this way. Almost every agreement or contract put in front of me over the past ten years includes fine print that they reserve the right to sell data about me to people. When companies do this they are aware that most people will find it too inconvenient to dispute this with every service they use. So they will go along with it, because it is the path of least resistance.
Unfortunately, most people only seem to speak out and force action when violations are really obvious. But by then, it’s too late to address the subtle details. If I could do an experiment to find out if people would prefer to have either absolute privacy over their communications and finance or when they use the toilet - most people would choose the toilet. Even though it makes no difference with regards to anything, it is tangible and they are neurotic enough to feel exposed. While with their data, there are enough blinds and misdirects that each person likes to think that it might not really affect them so much. Why force difficult change when you can’t really be sure that there’s a problem?
Where’s the money in that?
Who said anything about monkeys?
Anyway, I would imagine that they might benefit more by staying in business with an adapted model, rather than have their operations sabotaged by each of the people who they inconvenience on a regular basis.
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