And Which Ones Not

Want an educated guess which companies are most aggressively violating their customers’ privacy, inappropriately mining their personal data, selling it, or simply not adequately safeguarding it?

I’m pretty sure it’s the ones who safekeep sending their customers letters and emails telling them how much they “value their privacy.”

If they really did — or they hadn’t just had a couple million of their customers’ accounts hacked — they probably wouldn’t need to send out millions of letters discussing how carefully they handle customers’ personal data.

“Dear ddddreeddffhiiilyyy”

I had my own little brush with the multi-billion (trillion?) market for personal data when I subscribed to Comcast a few months ago.

Their online form would not let me simply skip a field and leave it blank; so, for “Mr./Mrs./Ms.” I held my fingers down on the keyboard and entered “ddddreeddffhiiilyyy” (I think).

Sure enough, the last few months, my mailbox has been filled with junk mail addressed “Dear ddddreeddffhiiilyyy.”

The solicitations cover everything from furniture stores to appliance retailers to plumbing contractors; apparently, new cable subscriptions are linked to household formation — and all the things new home buyers buy after they close on their home.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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