Friday, November 25, 2011

"Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday "

FROM CNN MONEY: “Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. Some retail analysts say the new technology is nothing to be worried about. Malls have been tracking shoppers for years through people counters, security cameras, heat maps and even undercover researchers who follow shoppers around.”

Can you opt out?

Well … a clerk may say, “Here, give me the phone you don't want tracked. I'll pass it over this sensor on the counter; the information from your phone is now entered in this 'opt-out' database that would have been captured by the sensors throughout the mall - and now you can go about your shopping experience knowing your movements are anonymous….”

Does that sound to you like a way to trick you into giving out the information anyway?

A better option

Leave your cell phone at home when you head out to shop.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Might your true home address show up on the Internet?

This just in from a law enforcement officer in Birmingham:

“I'm glad more than ever for How To Be Invisible and the advice you gave in it. Recently, Jefferson County and Baldwin County had their personnel databases hacked and someone got names and home addresses of all county sheriff deputies. (I'm with Birmingham city, not the county.) I'm okay because of the fake info I put into the Birmingham database.”

He adds, “NOW the guys are getting spooked. They should've prepared beforehand!”

So-called private information constantly shows up on the Internet. If you order a prescription and the information accidentally goes on the Net, will it show your home address? What about your driver’s license? Dental records? Place of employment? Or the address you use for your credit cards?

A variation of Murphy’s law is that any information about that can show up on the Internet will show up on the Internet.

The remedy?

Notify one and all that you’ve moved. Give them your new [ghost] address.