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Hometown: GA
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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,977

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New Curbs Sought on the Personal Data Industry

Source: New York Times

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and sharing of their digital data — from websites visited to their marital status — by providing people with tools to view, suppress and fix their information.

The agency also said the little-known companies, called data brokers, that analyze and sell huge amounts of the consumer information for marketing purposes, needed to be reined in and more transparent to the public.

Companies that trade in consumer data, the agency said in a 110-page report about the industry, suffered from “a fundamental lack of transparency.”

“You may not know them, but data brokers know you,” Edith Ramirez, chairwoman of the F.T.C., said in a conference call. It is an industry, she said, that “operates largely in the dark,” yet it has remarkably detailed information that includes online and store purchases, political and religious affiliations, personal income, and socioeconomic status.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/28/technology/ftc-urges-legislation-to-shed-more-light-on-data-collection.html?rref=business&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Business%20Day&action=keypress®ion=FixedLeft&pgtype=article


Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability - the 110-page FTC report referenced in the excerpt

The Data Brokers: Selling your personal information - 60 Minutes, March 9, 2014

How To Defend Your Privacy Online - CBS

Federal Trade Commission to data brokers: Show us your data - Los Angeles Times, Dec. 17, 2012

Keep your job in perspective.

Believe me, I know it's hard, since work sucks up so much time and energy. I've had jobs that meant little or nothing to me most of my working life. I'm sure this is true for many more people than are willing to admit it. The saying "Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life" is great for those who can truthfully say it, but I have to be honest and say my work situation is far from that model.

To maintain sanity, I have to relegate work to its proper place in my life. The things that are most important to me (family, friends, hobbies, creative pursuits) produce either zero or minuscule income. But they are what I live for.

My job supports these important activities -- OK, and also it supports a roof over my and my family's head, meals, clothing, transportation, etc. That's all it is, really: an income generator. I get almost no personal satisfaction from it. At least I can say I'm not in a job that I'm ashamed of. It's just not one I care about that much, but it's a good living for my education, skills, and demographics.

You've heard the saying -- either you "live to work or work to live." I'm definitely in the "work to live" category.

I do try to do a good job while I'm working (and my glowing performance reviews attest to that). But in the overall picture, my job is basically a temporary necessity that I put up with while I have to.
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