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Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You

The companies that sell information about how much money you make — and whether you’re pregnant, divorced, or trying to lose weight — are facing new scrutiny. 

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A sign at the Babies "R" Us parking lot in Fairless Hills, Pa. The companies that sell information about how much money you make — and whether you’re pregnant, divorced, or trying to lose weight — are facing new scrutiny. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Sept. 13: This story has been updated. It was originally published on March 7, 2013.

We’re continuing to learn new details about how the American government is collecting bulk records of citizens’ communications -- from demanding that a telephone company hand over the daily records of “all telephone calls in its systems,” to collecting an unknown number of emails, instant messages and Facebook messages.

It’s not clear how much information about ordinary people’s conversations the National Security Agency has gathered. But we do know there’s a thriving public market for data on individual Americans -- especially data about the things we buy and might want to buy.

Consumer data companies scoop up large amounts of consumer information about people around the world and sell it, providing marketers details about whether you're pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars you drive. But many people still don't know data brokers exist.

Regulators and some in Congress have been taking a closer look at this industry, and are beginning to push the companies to give consumers more information and control over what happens to their data. The prominent data broker Acxiom recently launched aboutthedata.com, a site that allows you to review some of the information the company has connected to your name -- and, potentially, edit and update it as well.

Here's a look (originally published in March) at what we know about the consumer data industry.

How much do these companies know about individual people?

They start with the basics, like names, addresses and contact information, and add on demographics, like age, race, occupation and "education level," according to consumer data firm Acxiom's overview of its various categories.

But that's just the beginning: The companies collect lists of people experiencing "life-event triggers" like getting married, buying a home, sending a kid to college — or even getting divorced.

Credit reporting giant Experian has a separate marketing services division, which sells lists of "names of expectant parents and families with newborns" that are "updated weekly."

The companies also collect data about your hobbies and many of the purchases you make. Want to buy a list of people who read romance novels? Epsilon can sell you that, as well as a list of people who donate to international aid charities.

A subsidiary of credit reporting company Equifax even collects detailed salary and paystub information for roughly 38 percent of employed Americans, as NBC news reported. As part of handling employee verification requests, the company gets the information directly from employers.

Equifax said in a statement that the information is only sold to customers "who have been verified through a detailed credentialing process." It added that if a mortgage company or other lender wants to access information about your salary, they must obtain your permission to do so.

Of course, data companies typically don't have all of this information on any one person. As Acxiom notes in its overview, "No individual record ever contains all the possible data." And some of the data these companies sell is really just a guess about your background or preferences, based on the characteristics of your neighborhood, or other people in a similar age or demographic group.

Where are they getting all this info?

The stores where you shop sell it to them.

Datalogix, for instance, which collects information from store loyalty cards, says it has information on more than $1 trillion in consumer spending "across 1400+ leading brands." It doesn't say which ones. (Datalogix did not respond to our requests for comment.)

Data companies usually refuse to say exactly what companies sell them information, citing competitive reasons. And retailers also don't make it easy for you to find out whether they're selling your information.

But thanks to California's "Shine the Light" law, researchers at U.C. Berkeley were able to get a small glimpse of how companies sell or share your data. The study recruited volunteers to ask more than 80 companies how the volunteers' information was being shared.

Only two companies actually responded with details about how volunteers' information had been shared. Upscale furniture store Restoration Hardware said that it had sent "your name, address and what you purchased" to seven other companies, including a data "cooperative" that allows retailers to pool data about customer transactions, and another company that later became part of Datalogix. (Restoration Hardware hasn't responded to our request for comment.)

Walt Disney also responded and described sharing even more information: not just a person's name and address and what they purchased, but their age, occupation, and the number, age and gender of their children. It listed companies that received data, among them companies owned by Disney, like ABC and ESPN, as well as others, including Honda, HarperCollins Publishing, Almay cosmetics, and yogurt company Dannon.

But Disney spokeswoman Zenia Mucha said that Disney's letter, sent in 2007, "wasn't clear" about how the data was actually shared with different companies on the list. Outside companies like Honda only received personal information as part of a contest, sweepstakes, or other joint promotion that they had done with Disney, Mucha said. The data was shared "for the fulfillment of that contest prize, not for their own marketing purposes."

Where else do data brokers get information about me?

Government records and other publicly available information, including some sources that may surprise you. Your state Department of Motor Vehicles, for instance, may sell personal information — like your name, address, and the type of vehicles you own — to data companies, although only for certain permitted purposes, including identify verification.

Public voting records, which include information about your party registration and how often you vote, can also be bought and sold for commercial purposes in some states.

Are there limits to the kinds of data these companies can buy and sell?

Yes, certain kinds of sensitive data are protected — but much of your information can be bought and sold without any input from you.

Federal law protects the confidentiality of your medical records and your conversations with your doctor. There are also strict rules regarding the sale of information used to determine your credit-worthiness, or your eligibility for employment, insurance and housing. For instance, consumers have the right to view and correct their own credit reports, and potential employers have to ask for your consent before they buy a credit report about you.

Other than certain kinds of protected data — including medical records and data used for credit reports — consumers have no legal right to control or even monitor how information about them is bought and sold. As the FTC notes, "There are no current laws requiring data brokers to maintain the privacy of consumer data unless they use that data for credit, employment, insurance, housing, or other similar purposes."

So they don't sell information about my health?

Actually, they do.

Data companies can capture information about your "interests" in certain health conditions based on what you buy — or what you search for online. Datalogix has lists of people classified as "allergy sufferers" and "dieters." Acxiom sells data on whether an individual has an "online search propensity" for a certain "ailment or prescription."

Consumer data is also beginning to be used to evaluate whether you're making healthy choices.

One health insurance company recently bought data on more than three million people's consumer purchases in order to flag health-related actions, like purchasing plus-sized clothing, the Wall Street Journal reported. (The company bought purchasing information for current plan members, not as part of screening people for potential coverage.)

Spokeswoman Michelle Douglas said that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina would use the data to target free programming offers to their customers.

Douglas suggested that it might be more valuable for companies to use consumer data "to determine ways to help me improve my health" rather than "to buy my data to send me pre-paid credit card applications or catalogs full of stuff they want me to buy."

Do companies collect information about my social media profiles and what I do online?

Yes.

As we highlighted last year, some data companies record — and then resell — all kinds of information you post online, including your screen names, website addresses, interests, hometown and professional history, and how many friends or followers you have.

Acxiom said it collects information about which social media sites individual people use, and "whether they are a heavy or a light user," but that they do not collect information about "individual postings" or your "lists of friends."

More traditional consumer data can also be connected with information about what you do online. Datalogix, the company that collects loyalty card data, has partnered with Facebook to track whether Facebook users who see ads for certain products actually end up buying them at local stores, as the Financial Times reported last year.

Is there a way to find out exactly what these data companies know about me? (Updated 9/5/2013)

Not really -- although that’s beginning to change.

You have the right to review and correct your credit report. But with marketing data, there's often no way to know exactly what information is attached to your name — or whether it's accurate.

Most companies offer, at best, a partial picture.

In September, Acxiom debuted aboutthedata.com, which allows to you review and edit some of the company’s marketing data on you, by entering your name, address, birth date and the last four digits of your social security number.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Julie Brill tweeted that “more data brokers should follow” Acxiom’s example. But the effort received mixed reviews from users, privacy advocates and government regulators, the New York Times reported.

Previously, Acxiom only let customers review a smaller slice of the information the company sells about them, including criminal history, as New York Times reporter Natasha Singer described last year. When Singer requested and finally received her report in 2012, all it included was a record of her residential addresses.

Other companies also offer some access. A spokeswoman for Epsilon said it allows consumers to review "high level information" about their data — like whether or not you’ve purchased "home furnishings" merchandise. (Requests to review this information cost $5 and can only be made by postal mail.)

RapLeaf, a company that advertises that it has "real-time data" on 80 percent of U.S. email addresses, says it gives customers "total control over the data we have on you," and allows them to review and edit the categories it associates with them (like "estimated household income" and "Likely Political Contributor to Republicans").

How do I know when someone has purchased data about me?

Most of the time, you don't.

When you're checking out at a store and a cashier asks you for your Zip code, the store isn't just getting that single piece of information. Acxiom and other data companies offer services that allow stores to use your Zip code and the name on your credit card to pinpoint your home address — without asking you for it directly.

Is there any way to stop the companies from collecting and sharing information about me?

Yes, but it would require a whole lot of work.

Many data brokers offer consumers the chance to "opt out" of being included in their databases, or at least from receiving advertising enabled by that company. Rapleaf, for instance, has a "Permanent opt-out" that "deletes information associated with your email address from the Rapleaf database."

But to actually opt-out effectively, you need to know about all the different data brokers and where to find their opt-outs. Most consumers, of course, don't have that information.

In their privacy report last year, the FTC suggested that data brokers should create a centralized website that would make it easier for consumers to learn about the existence of these companies and their rights regarding the data they collect.

How many people do these companies have information on?

Basically everyone in the U.S. and many beyond it. Acxiom, recently profiled by the New York Times, says it has information on 500 million people worldwide, including "nearly every U.S. consumer."

After the 9/11 attacks, CNN reported, Acxiom was able to locate 11 of the 19 hijackers in its database.

How is all of this data actually used?

Mostly to sell you stuff. Companies want to buy lists of people who might be interested in what they're selling — and also want to learn more about their current customers.

They also sell their information for other purposes, including identity verification, fraud prevention and background checks.

If new privacy laws are passed, will they include the right to see what data these companies have collected about me?

Unlikely.

In a report on privacy last year, the Federal Trade Commission recommended that Congress pass legislation "that would provide consumers with access to information about them held by a data broker." President Barack Obama has also proposed a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights that would give consumers the right to access and correct certain information about them.

But this probably won't include access to marketing data, which the Federal Trade Commission considers less sensitive than data used for credit reports or identity verification.

In terms of marketing data, "we think at the very least consumers should have access to the general categories of data the companies have about consumers," said Maneesha Mithal of the FTC's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.

Data companies have also pushed back against the idea of opening up marketing profiles for individual consumers' inspection.

Even if there were errors in your marketing data profile, "the worst thing that could happen is that you get an advertising offer that isn't relevant to you," said Rachel Thomas, the vice president of government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association.

"The fraud and security risks that you run by opening up those files is higher than any potential harm that could happen to the consumer," Thomas said.

How do data brokers impact you? Join Lois and other tech reporters for a discussion of data brokers and privacy this Friday at 1 p.m. ET. You can tweet us your questions with #MyDataChat.

The twenty-first century needs its Robert Bork, a rising politician whose life is laid bare (would an affair still be shocking?) so that lawmakers realize that “we” (meaning they) need protection.

Here’s the thing:  Unlike police work and the “fruit of the poisoned tree” metaphor, once someone has acquired data for one purpose, there’s nothing to stop the acquiring organization for using it for other purposes.  So it’s a very real threat that sensitive information “for identity verification” can be “laundered” through a few hands to be sold on the open market.

Mind you, this is all while the government is maintaining the push for telecommunications immunity for warrantless wiretapping, using National Security Letters to warrantlessly read e-mail and grab user profiles (and who knows what else, since it’s illegal to tell anybody about their demands), and are trying to pass CISPA to protect our nation’s infrastructure by letting any company pony up whatever private information they feel like sharing, in an attempt to brand any of us evil hackers to be stomped out.

So Washington is A-OK with the data being collected, just not where they don’t get the biggest benefits.

John: Thanks for bringing up CISPA. Since it failed last year, they’re trying to pass it again, and as the Daily Kos’ recent petition points out: It was a bad idea then and it’s a bad idea now”.

Weight loss ads follow me everywhere. Assume it’s due to my research on the topic since I don’t have a weight problem and I wear small sizes. Rather humorous.

We need a centralized opt-in option which allows any of us to choose who, if anyone, should track us - rather than fight for legislation which allows us to opt out.

Actually, medical records are not very well protected. Several years ago, one nationally recognized data-security expert took a database of “privacy protected” med. records, compared them with publicly available databases (state drivers license records, for one), and ended up matching some of the medical records to individuals by name/address/date of birth. A good algorithm or two run on a bunch of databases can yield additional, valuable details to those who sell data. Federal requirements have not kept up with current data security best practices, data security experts say.

I wanted to highlight what the article says about health data.  Records maintained by doctors and health plans are protected by (mediocre) federal rules known as HIPAA. 

What isn’t protected by HIPAA?  Health information obtained by a supermarket, gym, Internet search engine, life and casualty insurer, Medical Information Bureau, worker’s compensation insurer, bank, credit bureau, credit card company. health researcher, National Institutes of Health (!), cosmetic medicine service, transit companie, hunting and fishing license agency, occupational health clinic, fitness club, home testing laboratory, massage therapist, nutritional counselor, alternative medicine practitioner, disease advocacy group, marketer of non-prescription health products and foods, personal health record company (some), 23andme and similar genetic info companies, and more.  Buy an over-the-counter drug with a frequent shopper card?  That allergy pill or antacid could put your name on a list.  And remember, that once they figure out you are a diabetic, they can profit from that information for the rest of your lift.

There are mailing lists for sale of individuals by every major disease and diagnosis.  If you ever filed out a survey, told a merchant, gave to many charities, or did other things that signaled your interest in a disease, your name went on a list.  No laws protect this information, and it can be bought and sold without your consent or knowledge.

abinico warez

March 7, 2013, 5:24 p.m.

This is why we need a constitutional amendment for privacy - NOW.

Gio Wiederhold

March 7, 2013, 5:29 p.m.

Well, a hundred years ago everybody in your village knew all those things about you.
Now the whole world knows.
Privacy hasn’t changed; just the scope to exploit it.

I’d put any effort on the second part,
No use fighting a battle that has been lost.

I thought it worth while to post Google’s transparency report http://www.opencongress.org/bill/113-h624/text

CISPA indeed has reared its ugly head once again. We should not forget the many other bills such as FISA, Patriot Act, NDAA and others that undermine we the people.

Google however is one of the worst offenders in data mining and selling results.

then they know I buy skin lotions, and organic foods and avoid the toxic red meat, dairy and pesticides and search constantly about nephrogenic systemic fibrosis.  Good, glad to let you know WE , the public are on TO you the greedy marketing thieves. Want to know something else? We despise you and we’re not buying your junk. Got that?

I for one go out of my way to avoid products that are “advertised” to me. 

What happens if you copy wrote or incorporate yourself.  You are your commodity and they are infringing in your ability to profit from your brand?  Seems to me it would make a wonderful class action suit.  Lol. Maybe I should go back to school just to be the perverbial thorn in the side of greedy politians and stupid marketing.  Really do they have proof any if that stuff works?

Carolyn, the other reason I brought up CISPA is because it “just happened” to come back the same week was “the Chinese” hacked into all those computers, as reported by some no-name security company that claimed it didn’t use IP addresses.

There are ways to secure computers.  Having companies rat out their customers ain’t it.

Bob, in fact, it was big news earlier this week (can’t find the article, unfortunately) that drug companies are now using web searches to do their homework for them.  By analyzing search histories, they can turn up side effects of their drugs that they didn’t (or wouldn’t) see during the clinical trials.

They also made the point in passing that, by collating symptoms, they think they can find diseases ahead of the hospitals and preemptively produce treatments.

That sounds nice, but anybody who thinks that can’t be turned against people with a flip of the switch is honestly deluded.  At the very least, one way to stomp out a disease is to stomp out the carriers…

“Me,” the research on marketing and advertising is pretty firm, as I understand it.  Companies wouldn’t shovel that much money down the drain on something that reduced sales, certainly.

For every one of us that uses advertisements as a “Do Not Buy advisory,” there are several people who are happy that a solution has presented itself just when they were looking at the problem, presumably.

One of my worries is that politicians will start using this sort of information to craft a platform for every voter.  You donate to the ASPCA?  Well, then I support mandatory spaying and neutering of pets.  You donate to the NRA and paid for dinner at a restaurant serving exotic meats?  Maybe I support urban hunting to decrease the stray population.  And I know that Fox and MSNBC are doing what they can to polarize the population, so that you won’t talk to your neighbor long enough to figure out I’m telling you different lies.

After I miscarried, I spent over a year trying to get off the mailing lists of companies that assumed I had a child.  I had no luck with the large companies like Pampers or Buy Buy Baby, but when I got a coupon for “baby’s first haircut” from a local hair salon I finally made progress.  The owner gave me the contact info for the mailing list aggregator and told me she had asked to purchase a list of babies born that year, not pregnant women.  I was able to get through to someone from the list aggregator and get my name off.  I was not able to determine how they had gotten my name in the first place.

Isn’t it marvellous.  Governments and corporations overtly and, more likely, covertly, skulk around skimming every single little piece of information about citizens, and probably non-citizens too, without so much as a by-your-leave.  Yet whistleblowers, who have the most vital information to give us about the same governments and corporations lying and deception, are jailed.  Just a thought.

It’s very telling that the opt out page on Acxiom’s site is broken and leads to a missing webpage when you try to submit opt out data. No huge clamor to get that corner of the website working.

Greedy corporations once again using us as cattle and profiting from it.  The law favors these companies.  We should be able to know what information they have and what companies they are sharing it with.  I agree with some of the comments that I will go out of my way to avoid the companies that “push” their stuff on me constantly.  If enough of us do that it will only force these data mining companies to change their behavior.  Minimally we should have some control of how our personal information is used. They are making millions off our information.  Shouldn’t we get a cut of the profits?

The corps run on greed, the gov. on power and the little people, buying what they offer, swallowing the tainted foods, drugs and media, playing the facebook twitter cell phone games, shopping for lack of a life, bringing home their pitiful made in china purchases wrapped in countless plastic bags and bottles while the planetary systems break down from the overload of humanity all around them make it all possible.  All of us are mindless witlings in the destruction of not only our country but our world. Lack of ‘‘privacy’ is the least of the problems your children will face. 
It is written:  ‘As ye sow, so shall ye reap.’

To Janet: I wasn’t aware red meats were toxic. And unfortunately I don’t think they care if we know. If the population actually cared and would voice some displeasure to this, then maybe there would be a greater push to outlaw or have control over this nonsense.

Tyler,  Red meat is toxic, see American Grassfed Association, eat that instead.
ALL of you Rx drugs or told you need to takefor months/ lifetime are in clinical drug trial. READ EXPERIMENT.A disease data base these monsters continually search for certain criteria you match based on age, gender, medical history, use of drugs. You have sinus problems what do they order? Sinus xrays/dangers esp if the Iodine contrast. When your kidneys are damaged or too much radiation exposure to your BRAIN, which is the study,you don’t know it, the next “research scientist monster” enrolls you in phase IV clinical trial. They don’t have inform you or consent you,you may be a normal control subject”, but you suffer the damage from Xray, CT or MRI w metal contrast. They make up a disease based on effects, you are screwed for life. medical device is Gadolinium metal. it causes lung,kidney. skin problems- tendon shortening, (read mimics carpal tunnel/or stroke contracture) neuro problems mimics to muscle pains, extreme fatigue, difficulty talking ,walking -mimics stroke,  deep bone pain /ribs/ hips.  Then what?order more MRI scans w contrast. What does this do? accumulates gadolinium in the brain -dura: mimics meningioma, which is not cause of symptoms,real meningiomas from repeat radiation scans, see Brigham and Womens neuro dept/search meningioma.
skin sores- not allergy to soap, lotion, drugs, foods, clothing. these are rxns to gadolinium metal retained in body ,bones.eyes. Any2x, 3x vision/eye glare?, difficult night driving /extreme pain w light? not Fuchs Corneal dystrophy. nose bleeds, sinus infection, lung/cough eye hemorrages?  repeat exposure to xrays do this. images of teleangiectasias, cherry red spots- not aging, from xrays, skin damages can show over time. then falls from muscle pains/ balance problems, maybe broken ribs?  clotting disorder,  told you Pulm Embolus? check your legs? heart?  more scans? anteup w nuclear scans Technetium/ TC 99 worse, drugs that damage heart, scans w radiation. They deny everything. You’re worse than before for sinus infections. Radiation causes fibrosis. The body cannot repair or function against this resistance. produces glutathione for DNA repair
see ACHRE/ ICRP , systemic effects of radiation
new poisons- carbon nanotubules/fullerenes, to deliver drugs target genes/ tumors,are nanoparticles/ Gadolinium metal is one, it gets into cells stays there.
is how the Iphones work. nanoparticles body cannot exit, then kidneys are injured or not . transmetallation occurs ,it breaks apart TOXIC metal GD3+ is left behind.
creates a progressive systemic fibrosis. they know this.
SSA gov a compassionate allowanc for Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis. FDA allows on the market w BLACKBox warning. newborns up to age 2, Bayer NCT05144166 gadobutrol, deposit in bones, liver, brains of kids,skin BRAINS as they grow w health problems. 
Nanoparticle are in our foods, packaging for microbial spoilage, break off inside boxes.in clothes. new coat w silver threads warms up by retains heat?
see nanotechnology engadget com, nanotechnology ethics (there are none)  can be used for monitering you in the future if not now,shows lots of products they are in animal feed.
Lipid Nanotechnology more dangerous facilitates particles in brain,  easily penetrated. see fda nanoparticles you inhale them, inflammation lungs, skin, eyes, tiny blood vessels, read non gmo shopping guide,  sustainable technology com.
don’t be a victim of this cruel society.  They do care we know, why whole foods is regaining customers w GMO labels/corn/soy/ dangeous to eat , see tumors w GMOs do not eat DENT corn, a dent, grainy is grown for FUEL, ethanol, not for consumption,  monsters feed/forced cattle . animals eat grass/hay, not corn. Dogs do not eat corn/ grain, t skin sores, allergies/breathing problemsl this poison affects immune system. DNA/ DNA repair systems, see radiation effect on DNA or ionizing radiation effects acute/ chronic
see treatment of infections from ionizing radiation wiki, I had allb acteria,in that order, x HSV. effects p an xray/ CT weeks/ months, it affects the immune system-you get a cold, flu.
drugs that prolong the QT interval,- slows heart decreased perfusion to tiny blood vessels eyes,kidneys, fingers,
Radiobiology for the Radiologist 6th Ed, page 159 chart, see diseases? diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, Cystic Fibrosis and Sickle cell anemia , cleft palate/lip. 
Read The Treatment by Martha Stephens 2002 esp the back deals made to keep quiet from the public re effects of radiation medicare system.what are they studying?  space and brain funciton/ see BEIR VII , ACHRE and ICRP 2012 part 1 and 2.
This is a crime.

Gio Wiederhold

March 12, 2013, 1:41 p.m.

Janet,
  Can’t you keep to the topic?
You are devaluing a public service.

this IS part of data mining and how they do it Gio, READ it and learn something and maybe read Fierce Biotech article today about PASSIVE SENSORS, this is ALL DATA MINING.

Janet thanks for the info.  I will read up on this.  I was a victim of big pharmacy before I was born with tetracycline poisioning.  I have suffered debilitating effects from Effexor when my doctor prescribed it for arthritis!!!  I believe she got a kick back of some sort but who knows for sure.  Being a subject would make more sence.  Do you know web site where it discusses things more on depth.  I found some of it hard to follow ( me not u).

see clinical trials, fda,  phases 1-4. phase 4 is the post marketing trial to the public,  think of vioxx and celebrex and today’s blackbox warning on get this,  azithromax, zpack and extended zithromax, know what it does? prolongs the QT interval. Did I write that above? YES.

read the phases of clinical trials,  if you are not consented,  it’s not a formal trial to you with risks explained and consent forms, even may include an admission for tests, diet control, urine/fecal collections, blood, ekg , sleep test, drugs,  heparin, meds for side effects of the junk they are poisoning you with in addition to xrays, ultrasound, CT and MRI with contrasts. They don’t tell you the effects of contrasts and CT and xrays or the notorious MRI metal, So, let’s say your doc says you need to be on a STATIN drug “for life”, really? that is not the treatment, the proper treatment is, exercise, diet, and blood tests and the lowest risk drug to attempt to reduce the cholesterol for the Shortest time , not the highest risk drug for the longest period of time, this is dangerous and leads to guess what, other clinical trials they search for, when maybe you have completed the 2 or 3 years of the statin drug, you didn’t need. then they con you into taking something else and more junk and dangerous tests you don’t need, all the while, the xrays and CT and MRI are causing damages as well as infections from ionizing radiation, see wiki article, that is NOT RADIATION therapy. which has it’s own problems, 
if you believe you’ve been poisoned,  you need to see a toxicogist not associated with your doc or hosp and get tested,  see mayomedical laboratories com search the test you want done and get your medical records as these are altered, “missing”, and amended and you need to ask for the PAPER copy,the same handwritten copy that medicare would ask for, not the electronic records which are wasteful and hidden.
You need to get all radiological dvds and review them at home, not too hard , read the reports and see patterns.  I only know that TCn can deposit in the bones, teeth cause grey discoloration. I don’t know of any long term affects, see any personal injury atty site, a legit one that covers tetracycline toxicity.
you were born with tetracycline poisoning?  effexor is not for arthritis.  you can search clinical trials gov with the docs name, or the drug brand name, pharmaceutical company, your mom’s records that she took something and pubmed, just type in doc’s name and the drug or symptoms you have. hope that helps some.

to ME at 3:13 re tetracycline poisoning at birth, see this
Use of Drugs Known to Cause Fetal Harm Among Women Delivering Infants in Haiti,  acad pediatrics 2010, tetracyline is one of them

Let’s take a look at the root of the problem. From the article: “...consumers have no legal right to control or even monitor how information about them is bought and sold.
Now lets change it just a bit: “Cititzens of the United States have no legal right to control or even monitor how information about them is bought and sold”. See the problem here? Americans have been reduced to “consumers”, a term I find degrading and demeaning. It’s less controversial to sell information about a mass of “consumers” than it is sell information about “Citizens of the United States”
Second, if MY information has a dollar value to THEM, then it also has a value to me and I should share in any profit they get from selling my info to someone else.

Grover Norquist

March 14, 2013, 10:43 p.m.

I know it’s not much, but sometimes it’s the little things that count. Whenever I am asked for a zip code or phone number, I always make one up. I feel a moral duty to corrupt their database as much as possible.

If a whole lot of us would just do the same, their data would become more and more meaningless over time. It’s a start.

Watch out for this health insurance scam.  Legit HMOs like blue cross etc. sucker you in with these personal health advocates who represent themselves to be RN’s that just want to help you navigate the health system and maximize preventative health measures, but before they will do so they ask you if it’s ok to share some of you health info with their “associates” which sounds like different parts of the same company, but in reality is simply selling your data to the highest bidder.  I made the mistake of falling for this.  I told the RN that I was concerned about high blood pressure, I have a borderline case.  Next thing I know I am getting inundated with adds for every blood pressure and heart disease drug and procedure under the sun, plus no doubt if I ever switch to another HMO they can try to deny me due to blood pressure as a pre-existing condition.  Fortunately I was able to switch under an open enrollement plan at my employer.

European consumer

March 18, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

Wow, is all I can say. We have data protection legislation with teeth in Europe. Thank heavens.

Soon we’re going to see some journalists and minions of Rupert Murdoch go to jail for violating people’s privacy by hacking their phones.

Grover Norquist thanks for the laugh. My cat is a is signed up member of quite a few web sites (teenager, lives at home, no income).

If you think marketers having this data is bad, wait until you see the “Super Files” the DNC and RNC have built on Americans, all while being able to conveniently ignore the laws that apply to any commercial marketer from abusing that data.

Tired of getting emails from Target or Disney? You can opt out and CAN SPAM requires them to adhere to it.

Tired of getting emails from Obama or Romney? Good luck opting out of those. The lawyers in the Congress intentionally left themselves out of the law that requires good governance from digital marketing.

The super files that are being compiled by the DNC take all the data from Acxiom, Experian, Infogroup, Datalogix and all those listed in this article to develop a profile on you individually that would make your mother blush.

Until we get the government to a place where they respect privacy, you should expect that anything you do with a digital footprint (including this post) gets recorded into these massive Big Data databases.

go to any credit reporting agency site online, go to OPT OUT ,  print and sign and MAIL it, it’s to keep them out of your life permanently.

If you only do it online, it’s good for 5 years.

I sent mine in to them.
do the donotcall.gov registry, too.

I think so much data is collected that it is beginning to not be so useful. Privacy pretty much ended with the take off of the Internet.

Marketing data collection is bad enough but government agency’s collection is scary.

BTW, Let me take a moment and say hello to the NSA and DHS.

Destroy these rotten sonofabitch companies and the drones who work for them. Rid our society of this cancer of data mining and data brokering. filthy greedy a-holes should all be thrown into the ocean.

Anathema Device

March 19, 2013, 10:08 p.m.

One funny thing I just noticed (not to indulge in the overuse of the much-abused “ironic”) is that Ghostery blocked 9 trackers and analytics right here on ProPub, when I opened this article.
I guess there’s humor anywhere you want to find it.
;)

Anathema Device: Thanks for the tip! I just downloaded “Ghostery”.

Anathema Device

March 19, 2013, 10:39 p.m.

Carolyn -
Amazing, the stuff that goes on without you ever seeing it, huh?
A lot of it may be mostly harmless, but it’s nice to be able to opt most of the way out.
Glad you find it useful!
^_^

Anathema Device: Thanks!! It first said it found 21 trackers. Then gave me a list of 11 items to block - which I did. It now says I have 11 items and they’re all blocked.  Interesting fact: Ghostery’s download page had no trackers on it. Also, the only way I could get Ghostery through Firefox was to override the Firefox block in order to download the plugin. :) Quite humorous!

Mine that data on “me”, piggies. “I” am a clientside JavaScript Golem that my box runs several hours per day. See if you can tailor “my” ads to searches like “goats in red latex garter belts” and “steam powered bunny suits”. Oh, and….. bite me.

That’s ok. They can collect all they want. We have a database on THEM. All the employees of data collection companies, all their information that you can imagine. It grows larger every day. Ain’t it wonderful ;)