Does online privacy exist?

This question might sound too easy to crack, so in most of the cases, people rush to say yes to it without even thinking first. Let’s see…

Have you ever mentioned that some spam emails you get seems to know your age or gender, or maybe have you ever got a regular mail from some company you’ve never heard of, but from the company that knows a lot about you? Or have you ever got a phone call from someone who knows your name, address, company you work for and other valuable information they shouldn’t know? All these scenarios are possible because of data brokers.

First of all, let’s find out who these people are. Data brokers are private companies, that collect, purchase and resell your private information. They can buy it from your phone company, your car dealer or another broker. Then, data brokers resell millions of records with valuable information to marketing companies and let anybody who wants to buy it from their websites(in general each data broker has 3-5 websites). And believe it or not, it’s legal! Speaking of law – these data brokers can do anything with your information unless you tell them you want your information to stay private. But there is a catch.

Law does not force data brokers to protect people data of the site for future purposes. This means that if the same data broker would buy data package from other data broker the next day, they can and they would add you to their data pool again. This tricky concept created a huge breach in users privacy. Nowadays each data broker owns a fleet of websites that constantly refill one another in order to make sure that they won’t lose their valuable data because at the end of the day, it’s their bread.

Data brokers changed the way we look at online privacy. While it’s wrong to say that we’re naked in front of the crowd, but it’s absolutely fair to say that our online privacy is a very blurry concept.

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