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The Audacity to Spy

Book Description

Ever get the feeling you're being watched? The thieves that steal identities are using cutting-edge, high-tech tools that can take one fact from a social media site, another from an online travel survey, a third from a purchase made via the internet and even access highly confidential medical records. Little by little they piece together your buying habits, your religious and school affiliations, the names of your family and pets, your political views, your driving habits, the places you have vacationed, and much, much more. This is not science fiction and this is not the future, this is what is happening to each and every one of us now - today. And although the vast majority of adults say they are concerned about providing personal information online, nearly 1/3 say they have never used a privacy setting on their computer, never inquired about the charities to whom they donate their money, never worried about someone accessing their medical information and never thought twice about giving a financial institution their social security number over the internet. 

The Audacity to Spy, written by an attorney with an interest in privacy laws and legislation and her grandmother who is an experienced Information Analyst, reveals the ways in which your identity and personal data have been stolen by various sources. Yes, you should be concerned about the NSA and other government agencies having your phone logs and emails; but you should worry more about the insidious data brokers that are collecting information about you every time you log on to your laptop, use your cell phone, access an app, or use your GPS. Companies are collecting a variety of data about you, combining it with location information, and using it to both personalize their own services and to sell to other advertisers for behavioral marketing. Law enforcement agencies are tracking your car and insurance companies are installing devices to monitor your driving. Clerks are making copies of your credit cards. And if that wasn't enough, the FBI has reported that hackers have been discovered embedding malicious software in two million computers, opening a virtual door for criminals to rifle through users' valuable personal and financial information. 

More than warning you about the ways your data can be stolen, at the end of each chapter are suggestions for limiting the amount of personal data that is available to be seized and divulged. Can you completely cut off the flow of information about yourself? The answer is no, not completely - there is already too much data out there and increasingly sophisticated ways to obtain bits and pieces. But knowing how it is collected, and by whom, gives you the power to control sensitive information and determine how much of your life you wish to expose to those more than willing to exploit it.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction Do I Have Any Personal Data Privacy?
  2. Chapter 1 Social Media and “The Right to Be Forgotten”
    1. Is Facebook Your “Friend” or “Frenemy”?
      1. What Can You Do?
      2. Facebook’s Statement of Rights
    2. Online Marketplaces
      1. What Can You Do?
  3. Chapter 2 Is My Car Spying On Me?
    1. License Plate Scans
      1. What Can You Do?
    2. Telematic Devices
      1. What Can You Do?
    3. The Little Black Box and Taxes
      1. What Can You Do?
    4. Can My Car’s Operating System Be Hacked?
    5. Accept the Reality
  4. Chapter 3 Cards—Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em
    1. Credit Cards
    2. Debit Cards
      1. What Can You Do?
  5. Chapter 4 Marketing to the Masses
    1. Tracking Purchases
    2. Your Credit Score
      1. What Can You Do?
    3. In-Store and Online Hacking
      1. What Can You Do?
  6. Chapter 5 My Phone Is Selling My Secrets
    1. e-Marketing Phone Data Collection
    2. Using Caller Id
    3. Apps–Are They Safe to Download?
    4. What Can You Do?
      1. Securing Your Phone and Data from Thieves
  7. Chapter 6 Help! My Identity Has Been Hacked
    1. Identity Theft
      1. What Can You Do?
    2. Third-Party Hacking
      1. Shodan
      2. What Can You Do?
    3. Identity Theft
  8. Chapter 7 Give to a Worthy Cause—Not to Scammers
    1. Charities
      1. What Can You Do?
  9. Chapter 8 The Plague of Medical Identity Theft
    1. Medical Identity Theft
    2. Data Brokers and Your Medical Information
    3. Other Medical Privacy Concerns
    4. Your Privacy Rights Under HIPPA
    5. Children’s Privacy Rights
    6. What Can You Do?
  10. Chapter 9 Will Your Digital Assets Be Buried?
    1. Digital Assets
      1. Gaining Access to Digital Accounts
      2. Dealing with Death and Incapacity
      3. Preparing A Power of Attorney or Will
      4. Service Agreements
    2. What Can You Do Without A Will?
  11. Chapter 10 Is That You Making A Withdrawal?
    1. Online Banking
      1. What Data Do Banks Share?
      2. Banks Face Risks Too
      3. What Can You Do?
    2. Check Scams
      1. What Can You Do?
  12. Chapter 11 NSA: The People Who Know Everything
    1. National Security Agency (NSA)
    2. Exploiting Vulnerabilities
    3. The “New” NSA
      1. What Can You Do?
  13. Conclusion
  14. Glossary
  15. Sources for Additional Info