As the Internet came of age, offering all sorts of convenient alternatives for shopping, banking, and communicating with friends and relatives around the world, it seemed to ask for so little in return – just a few personal details to help websites serve you better.

Flash forward to today, when the information we gave them is now being shared, sold, and bartered by those same websites and others. That’s why you’re getting more robocalls and emails about online scams. That’s why your identity may have been stolen (or will be soon). And if you’re a judge, police officer, social worker or other professional where your decisions can make enemies, that’s why you are vulnerable to threats, harassment, and even violence – because your home address is easily available to anyone who wants it.

Are People Finally Waking Up to This? Yes

An article published last month in CPO Magazine reports that consumer trust in businesses has plummeted, and 89% cite privacy as a factor. “Consumers are starting to understand (how they are exposed, and why), and that “free services simply mean they are being monetized.”

Will Companies Change Their Policies As a Result? Probably Not

You only need to look at the huge settlements tech companies pay out to maintain their control over your information. In November of last year Google agreed to pay nearly $392 million in a settlement with 40 states over allegations that the company tracked people through their devices after location tracking had been turned off.

"For years Google has prioritized profit over their users' privacy," said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. "They have been crafty and deceptive."

The more companies know about you – where you live, where you work, where your kids go to school, what you like to buy – the more they can feed you online ads they think you’ll like. And that might be fine as far as it goes, but that same content can fall into the wrong hands far too easily, and for millions of Americans, from Supreme Court justices to victims of stalking and domestic violence, exposing that information can be dangerous.

What About Privacy Laws?

They exist. But laws are worthless unless someone enforces them.

Right now California and eight other states have a law that prevents the private information of judges and police officers from being available online. We continue to find violations of this law every single week – and then we take action to enforce it.

Our online privacy protection program, IronWall360, scans the Internet for any sites where someone’s home address, phone number, and other private data are accessible. We then contact that site to make sure that content is removed. And we don’t take “no” for an answer.

Does it work? Our renewal rate in our program is over 90% for over 10 years. Yes, it works. Find out more about why this service is needed more than ever, and why we’re the top choice for public servants in our space.

Learn How We Can Protect You

 

Ron Zayas

CEO

Ron Zayas is an online privacy expert, speaker, author, and CEO of 360Civic, a provider of online protection to law enforcement, judicial officers, and social workers. For more insight into onli... Read more

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