Request for Comments and Announcement of FTC Workshop on Spring Privacy Series #00014

Submission Number:
00014
Commenter:
M Kelly
State:
New Jersey
Initiative Name:
Request for Comments and Announcement of FTC Workshop on Spring Privacy Series
Matter Number:

P145401

I have just become aware of the tracking and information gathering being done by data brokers over the last week, after seeing an episode of 60 minutes. I immediately installed a program called Disconnect on my computer to see where I was being tracked, and I am appalled. I am sure most people in this country do not know the extent to which they are being "tracked". I purposely do not have a smart phone or GPS, and have the location setting on my outdated phone set to E911 only, in an effort to retain some measure of privacy, though I have no way of knowing for sure whether my trips to the local post office or supermarket are tracked or not. I find it deeply disturbing that companies I do not do business with, and have no dealings with in any manner, feel they have the right to track me, collect information about me, and then sell it to anyone they desire, with no regulation in force about what they may collect, how they may collect it, and how it may be used. What gives them the right to know and sell information such as what size and brand of undergarments I buy, what over the counter medications I buy, what songs I listen to, or what color quilt is on my bed? I even found that once I logged in to my financial account, I was being tracked by outside companies - do they really have the right to know if I sent money to a relative or if a relative sent money to me? I own an online business, and I can tell you that I am responsible about collecting and using information. I ONLY have information once a customer has made a purchase from me, and the information I have is that which is necessary to ship their orders, and what they have ordered, so that if they need to make a return or have a question about it, I can handle that for them. I do not contact them and tell them, you bought "this", so come back and buy "that". I do not sell or provide their information to 3rd parties. If I, an "extremely small" business owner, can be responsible about the privacy of consumers, it is certainly possible for big business to do the same, and remain profitable. PLEASE begin regulating these data brokers, I am finding it impossible to figure out how to opt out of their information gathering and brokering, and I am certain many other Americans are, as well. IF they have even become aware of the practice. Thank you.