In a conversation with my father in-law this morning…
(a) there was a time when your social security number was truly secret. Now everyone from the cable company, ISP, newspaper boy, lawn service, High School, University, hospital and doctor wants your SSN and we give it freely and without challenge. Who really knows why a doctor or newspaper delivery service needs my SSN. Are they going to sue me into and after I’m buried? In Sweden the SSN is sacred; I’m just not sure how they get around the problems we have. (could be functional and/or legal)
(b) There is no privacy on the internet. Whether your using any of the big name browsers, you never login, you always use other people’s computers or cyber cafes. The challenge is that between the ISP, browser manufacturers, super/affiliate advertisers, search engines; they where where you have been and where you are going. Not even the like of TOR is going to save you. Same goes for the anonymous breadcrumbs you thing you are dropping. They will always lead “them” back to you.
In a side note. If you’ve ever seen or purchased from one of those “as seen on tv” infomercials. The deals are great. Essentially you pay for shipping which costs them much either, however, it does offset their costs somewhat. The “play” for these companies is to get you to buy something. Anything. This way they capture you personal information which they will resell at a profit. This is how all of these marketing machines work. One interesting thing… I have never experienced an increase in the amount of spam I receive. Hmmm.
Another side note. Over the last 18 to 36 months there have been some data breaches amounting to tens or hundreds of millions of credit card numbers and personal information. So why haven’t more people been complaining about credit card fraud? Why haven’t news programs done additional reporting? I wonder if we’re being marketed to because the credit card infrastructure is just not that sophisticated.