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Monday, September 17, 2007


At the end of Friday’s post, I promised to solve the problem of your sensitive data being in places all over the world, not one of which you have control over. I assure you that a resolution will be provided before the end of this post, but as any advocate with a new and controversial concept such as this must do, it is necessary to make my case before supplying the solution. Otherwise, you won’t feel the urgent need for this protection of your privacy as I do. First, take another look at Friday’s post. Then, here is another frightening statistic that could make you think twice about that next junk mail purchase. By just placing one order with one junk mail company, you will generate a minimum of 500 pieces of mail to your household from similar businesses in just one year. That’s because the company you bought from sells your name and private information somewhere between 25 and 50 times, requiring numerous moves of this sensitive data. The first sale probably occurred even before you received the products you ordered. On average, your name sells for around 15 cents, a drop in the bucket you’re thinking. But that drop turns into an ocean of revenue for junk mailers—not any of which ends up in the pocket of the name-holder—as they gross $4 billion annually from names and personal data collected from around 73 million trusting households. But do they deserve that trust? In this past Sunday’s Parade magazine reaching 50 million readers, Sean Flynn’s article “Is Anything Private Anymore?” points out the array of occurrences where your sensitive data is not secure. I was quoted in the article saying, “There’s almost nothing they can’t find out about you.” A statement so true, it dramatically articulates the subject of this post: how do you take back control over your name and personal data? This does require some effort and commitment on your part. Together, we must convince a do-nothing Congress to pass federal legislation that will give the individual control over their sensitive data. As constituents, if enough of us demand this right, we can make it happen. Second, as a back-up to a national law, I am searching for a strong state willing to pass this same legislation, in case the federal effort drags on, as it has with other data breach bills. You can help by letting me know of state legislators that are pro-consumer privacy. Just one state—like the California law that exposed the ChoicePoint breach and shamed Congress into addressing this subject—could force the issue and pressure the feds to act. With this control in your hands, you could stop ID theft, and put money in your pocket for retirement. So we have concluded that you can take back control over your name and private information, and you can be the sole monitor over how it is used, while sharing in the profits. On Tuesday, just how this works to your benefit, especially your participation in the compensation.


Anonymous said...

I have tried, unsuccessfully, for a period of over several years, to correct my name, age and social security information. As a result, I have recieved bills, accusations of having owed monies to Federal and State agencies, parking tickets in States where I have never visited; phones, phone calls to Mexico, Arizona, etc., where I have no family, friends or acquaintances. I have presented my original birth records, work histories, marriage, confirmation and baptismal records as well as my children's birth records. Nothing has been changed or corrected. I have been denied disability benefits and other rights. I am tired and now I find that my Mortgage company has been placing fees, fines and other negative reports on my credit to hide their negligence. Countrywide has been a major source of personal info list marketing. They will not accept the blame for their misconduct; however, they are quite adept at requiring their customers to pay these erroneous charges and take this assault "lying down." I wonder just how many people are going through this type of hell.

Jack E. Dunning said...

Believe me, many are going through similar situations such as you are experiencing. If you haven't already, file a complaint with the FTC here($.startup).
Also, it sounds like you might have a valid case for Public Justice, and I would suggest you contact them here( They take on some cases where the victim is having problems such as yours.

I wish you luck!

Jack E. Dunning
The Dunning Letter