Bogus Email Claims Cell Phone Numbers Being Released to Marketers

Like so many emails these days you can't believe everything that comes into your inbox. A recent example of some of the half truths contained in well-intentioned emails includes the following which has been making the rounds on the Internet:

World Privacy Forum and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Ask the FTC to Immediately Stop Credit Bureaus From Blocking Web Links to www.AnnualCreditReport.com

UPDATE: As of noon, February 28, the credit bureaus began to allow linking to the annualcreditreport.com site from other sites. To see what the previous non-linking "blacklisted" message looked like prior to the credit bureaus' change in policy, see  Figure 2 in the Call Don't Click report.

SAN DIEGO, CA -- The World Privacy Forum and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today requesting the agency immediately take steps to protect consumers in advance of the March 1 rollout of free credit reports to Midwestern U.S. residents.

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse Offers Secure Browsing

To better protect your privacy, we've enabled secure browsing on our website. If you'd like to browse our site using HTTPS, go to https://www.privacyrights.org.

Many Unhappy Returns

It’s inevitable.  As the holidays draw to a close, many of us will have received a well-intended gift that we may not like.  Whether it’s a matter of the wrong size or color, a defective product, a duplicate gift, or just something that we just “don’t want”, it may become necessary to return the gift to a retailer.  Retailers have different policies (and states have different laws) concerning the ability to return unwanted merchandise.  But, one thing that troubles many privacy conscious consumers is when retailers require a driver’s license (or other government-issued ID) for returning or exchanging merchandise.  

Why do some retailers swipe your driver’s license?

Retailers say they do this to keep better track of possible return fraud. Typically, they will swipe your license in a reader that will query a database to look at your return history for patterns of fraud or abuse.  By scanning your license, the retailer can collect any information that is encoded on the license's magnetic stripe or bar code. In most states, this information includes the data printed on the face of your license, such as name, address, date of birth, and license number. 

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