Frequently, we see articles about the NSA violating people's privacy. Recently, there was quite a stir about certain communications companies, who were providing them with a lot of personal information.
Who should we fear more, the NSA, or the communications companies?
Selling and reselling people's information has led to a loss of privacy and is probably the root cause of a lot of identity and information theft. While selling information to the NSA makes good press -- on a personal level, I fear other entities -- who steal and (sometimes buy) this information a lot more than the NSA.
Of course, this is is my opinion, but trust me, I can back it up.
The motivation to gather all this personal information is simple, it's worth a lot of money.
Here is an excerpt from David's story, which I highly recommend anyone link to and read.
"All your eggs are in one communications basket," said Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. "If a company wants to, it can learn a great deal about you -- and it probably wants to."David Lazarus's story can be seen by linking, here.
More often than not, it'll also want to turn a fast buck by selling at least a portion of that info to marketers.
All leading telecom companies are aggressively pushing these bundled service plans after investing billions of dollars in high-speed digital networks. For consumers, the upside is often a hefty savings compared with acquiring the same services from multiple providers.
The downside is that you're making intimate details of virtually all your network activities available to a single company -- and possibly government officials.
Another thing to be careful of are marketing promotions from some of these companies, which expire at a certain point.
If you fail to cancel, or renew them, the price of them frequently explodes to an unreasonable (higher than market) cost.
Most of them do claim (if you bother to call and ask why) to have sent you a notice in the mail. Problem is they look just like all the other junk mail (marketing) offers that we frequently throw into the shredder without reading.
Best bet is to (if possible) put a reminder on your computer to cancel, or renew the deal.
Privacy notices and marketing promotions seem to have a lot of fine print. Here is another post, I did about privacy notices:
Not answering a Privacy Notice gives the sender permission to sell your personal/financial information
Here is another interesting article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on this subject about a call by "Representative Edward J. Markey to launch an investigation into violations of customer privacy by the major telecommunications companies."