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On Losing It (Privacy, That Is)

This week, I was notified by a bank that they had taken "the difficult decision" to close my accounts. I believe it is because I refused to give them my cell Phone number.

Aol (now it is an "Oath" company) continually harasses me with "Hey, this is important" default screens, and delays my ability to log in to my email, because they want my cell phone number. Google does the same. I am sure that Facebook would do so, too.

Am I obliged to purchase an expensive device and an expensive service that I don't want, simply because it is a convenient way for big companies that sell advertising to find out lots of information about me?

By the way, why is it that an increasing number of services require that one is a member of  Facebook? I noticed the other day that there is an author/book promotion service that will not accept business from anyone who does not give them a link to a Facebook page. It's not an option. Is that lawful?

What focused my mind on the cell phone issue was Argument IV in an article about the awfulness of Amazon by Jorge Carrion. "Against Amazon: Seven Arguments, One Manifesto."  Also Argument II

Argument IV is about how much Amazon knows about you... in addition to your real, physical, legal and banking and location data, the Zon knows what you read, write, eat, buy, wear (and your size), give as gifts (and to whom). Soon, they'll know what you drink.
 
Argument II proposes that we have all turned ourselves into cyborgs, because we are all so dependent on cell phones that they might as well be an implant that controls us.... I must say, some people do seem to be slaves to their smart phones. I remember feeling the same about my Franklin Planner...

If you haven't given Facebook your cell phone number, consider how much your mobile phone number exposes.  Jessica T. tells you:

"Anyone can use your number to find out a wide range of personal information about you from your full name and educational or career history to your current home address, a list of your close friends, relatives and known associates, where you used to live and even pictures of you and your family."
https://www.burnerapp.com/blog/2015/4/15/how-much-does-your-phone-number-reveal-about-you

In an older, but still relevant article, Quentin Fottrell explains why hackers want your phone number. A smart phone is a data storage device.
"typing just a mobile number into Facebook will reveal the profiles of the owner if he or she added it to their account information."
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-hackers-want-your-phone-number-2014-01-03

If you plan to rob a bank (which is not something this writer recommends), consider buying a map to plan your route(s) and leaving your smart phone at home. Suspects have been charged based on their smart phones telling the police their vicinity at the time of the crime.

Talking of spying, Jorge Carrion's Argument V is "Because I don't want them to spy on me while I am reading." When I read a print book, I enjoy absolute privacy. No one can track how many times I turn back to the cover of an alien romance novel to admire the alien hero's pecs or gluteus maximus, or how many times I re-read the affirmative consent scenes, or which pages I skip. (I never skip, dear reader!)

Email scammers today are very convincing, and take full advantage of lists from the dark web. Pastebin seems to be a preferred source of names and email addresses... and of twenty-year old passwords. One phishing email that I received this week was convincing enough to fool PayPal. It  purported to be from PayPal, and told me I had made a very large donation using a PayPal account I almost never use, and that I keep barely in the green. I forwarded it to [email protected] The clever bots at PayPal replied that the email was genuine, and suggested that I'd made a transaction at EBay. Who uses EBay in order to donate to a charity or cause? So, beware. Good bots can be wrong.

In the snail mail this weekend, I received a Domain Name Expiration Notice from iDNS. If you receive one, this is not an organization with which to do business without doing due diligence. See here.  If you own a trademark, you may receive deceptive mailings suggesting that you need to renew that.  It could be a scam.

However, if you do use a trademark, be aware that if you don't use it, you could lose it. The USPTO is modernizing, as explained in this USPTO Director's Forum Blog on Improving the Accuracy of the Trademark Register. If you have any thoughtful insights on "streamlining" trademarks (and perhaps making it easier for people who want a trademark for their own commercial use, that is currently registered to someone else but not in commercial use) you can submit a written comment [email protected]

All the best,
Rowena Cherry
SPACE SNARK™ http://www.spacesnark.com/


This post first appeared on Alien Romances, please read the originial post: here

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On Losing It (Privacy, That Is)

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