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article imageOp-Ed: It'll come as no surprise U.S. privacy confidence is at a new low

By Kev Hedges     Nov 16, 2014 in Technology
Last month I entered a bank to enquire about a new savings account it was offering. A staff member at the bank arranged a meeting, took my mobile phone number and name. Within a day my phone was hot with cold callers.
I had decided to cancel the appointment later that day as I was no longer interested in the account, but to my horror the bank (who shall remain nameless at this time) must have "sold" on my mobile cell number to an agency that spreads a live and engaging number, that is ripe and ready for cold call selling.
It is no surprise that 91 percent of all Americans surveyed recently have lost all control over how personal information is collected and then used by other third party outfits. The survey also highlighted that 80 percent felt they should be highly concerned about government surveillance. The Edward Snowden allegations had received a high level of media attention (although it seems to have somehow been hushed up a little now) but lack of confidence in the security of core communications channels is at a low not seen before.
"There's an overwhelming sense that consumers have lost control over the way their personal information is collected and used by companies." says Mary Madden of the Pew Research, which looked at attitudes to privacy and data in the wake of all these allegations.
Although surveillance techniques and programs used by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence agency GCHQ have now been exposed, companies have been bending over backwards to reassure us that our personal data is safe. But forgive me and the 91 percent of America but those reassurances are just not there yet.
Whether it is just my phone number being exposed to a PPI (Payment Protection Insurance) claims company or a survey firm, or something more serious like advertisers looking through your search patterns — our confidence has been shattered.
The vast majority of all of us feel we've lost control over how personal information is collected and used by companies, and that is a sad reality and indictment of how big brother is following, watching and observing our very freedom and privacy.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Data breach, cold calling, Privacy concerns, Data protection, Social security number
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