Like gold, your personal information can be “mined” by savvy marketers. Often times, when you click to see an offer, an online survey or form appears. Use caution! Marketers gather your preferences, address, phone #, email, etc. from these forms. Furthermore, third parties may buy your data, increasing the likelihood of solicitation. To prevent an onslaught of spam, junk mail or unwanted text messages, think twice about the data you give on online forms.
Besides forms, miners can also collect information about you with cookies, pop-ups, spyware, malware and trojan horses, currently, without your consent. To protect internet users, Senators John Kerry and John McCain recently introduced the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011, which sets guidelines requiring data miners to establish safeguards against hackers and to give consumers clear notice of data collection. Also, the bill protects your rights to inspect, correct and opt out any data gathered about you. The Senators hope the bill will benefit business growth, promote innovation and ensure consumer trust in technology – a win-win for both business and consumer. HP, Microsoft, eBay and Intel support this bill.
Data mining generates big bucks. It will continue. So…
Be mindful – “What’s Mine” can be mined!