There have been articles all over about online retailers, and brick'n'mortar joints, abusing privacy recently. The thing is, none of this information is hard to gather, and it's already being done EVERY day. When I signed up for my credit cards, the day I got them I called to have my name removed from the myriad mailing lists and phone lists it's automatically added to. Credit card companies make money on a person something like four times for every transaction from what I've heard, and they do that by selling information that you agree to them being allowed to sell just by signing up for the card.
Credit bureau's do it too, and they have more information than the CC companies do. Equifax, for example, knows every credit card you have, how long you've had it, what addresses you've had it at, how much you spend on it, if you pay your bills, how much your car loan is, your student loans, your mortgage, your home equity loan, your checking account balance, your savings account balance, etc. That information is readily available too.
The only thing shopping online exposes you to is the risk of about a $50 fraud charge from the credit card company, because your privacy is violated far before that point. It's not a conspiracy, it's business as usual.
All that said, the violations aren't really that grievous, and while I might mind being called by telemarketers, I've learned to enjoy their calling by responding in turn and giving them good natured grief when they do call. Junk mail doesn't hurt me, not even seriously inconvience me.
The only privacy violations I'd get worked up about are things of a far more personal nature, like my medical records, transcriptions of psychologist visists, things like that. Since those are few and far between, I don't stay up nights worrying, but I will be screaming if it ever happens to me.
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'
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