23AndMe, the DIY DNA-sequencing service, wanted to make a change to its privacy settings. Since the Food and Drug Administration stopped the company from offering and marketing information about customers’ health and vulnerability to certain diseases and medications last year, the company has turned to marketing itself as a service to figure out your ethnic origins and find hidden distant relatives. That sounds fun…until it destroys your family, anyway. [More]
Maurice isn’t an anti-phone book zealot, but he doesn’t need one, either. A few months ago, an unwanted one showed up on his porch. Instead of saving it for a power or Internet service outage or sticking it under a wobbly table leg, he decided to contact the company that delivered it and let them know that they didn’t need to waste any more trees or time delivering phone books to him. The message didn’t quite take. Unwanted phone books are pretty low on his list of problems in life, but that’s an easy problem to solve. Right? [More]
Verizon Wireless is sending emails to customers this week informing them that the company will now begin storing their browsing history, location, app usage data and more, in the name of providing “more relevant” mobile ads. The company says it won’t “share any information that identifies you personally,” and the email includes instructions for customers who want to opt out of the tracking program. [More]
Theoretically, a 16-year-old shouldn’t be on the mailing list for unsolicited credit card offers. Neither should a 13-year-old. Yet companies just can’t stop sending solicitations to J’s teenage daughter–even after J. specifically opted her out of the offers. Permanently. Or so the family thought. Now they’ve started up again, and J. isn’t sure how to make them stop. [More]
The changes allow users to search for their friends and marginal acquaintances’ Etsy usernames and feedback histories by e-mail address. Not all that different from most social networking sites… but most people who sign up to use Etsy do so to buy things, not to socialize and spy on what their friends are buying. Now, the full names of users who provided them to the site are available to the public and indexed by search engines by default. Users must opt out of these exciting new privacy-defying features.
Did you assume that once you got to the airport, if the TSA was doing something you didn’t like, you could just opt-out and decide not to fly? The answer is — nope. According to CNN and the TSA, a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals compels all passengers to be screened, whether they fly or not. Refusing screening will result in being denied access to secure airport areas and may result in civil penalties. [More]
Paul opted not to sign up for Chase’s overdraft fee trap–oh wait, they call it “protection”–but Chase happily ignored this fact and approved a transaction anyway, which led to a $34 overdraft fee that they refuse to reverse. The loophole they’re using to get around Paul’s opt-out is that the vendor was someone he’d authorized in the past, and therefore this new transaction isn’t protected from the bank’s “protection” fee. [More]
If you don’t want Apple collecting data on you and using it to target you with ads starting July 1st, you can opt out from “any device running iOS 4,” says AppleInsider. The opt-out is automatic when you hit up http://oo.apple.com from an iOS 4 device, and as far as I can tell you can’t undo it, so don’t click the link unless you really want to opt out. Also, it’s not working at the moment. [More]
Everyone is freaking out about Facebook having/owning your data, but they’re NKOTB (New Kids On The Block). There’s a slew of guys that have been carving up, packaging and reselling your personal information since before “Please Don’t Go Girl” started assaulting our ear canals. Here’s a cubic ton of data brokers, direct marketers and data aggregation services, with links to how you can opt your digits out of their databases. [More]
Recent and proposed changes to Facebook’s information sharing policies have Senators Franken (D-MN) and Schumer (D-NY) a little irritated. They’ve penned a letter, along with Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Mark Begich (D-AK), asking Facebook to reconsider their new opt-out procedure, and to take further steps to keep user’s personal details, such as their interests and friend lists, private unless they chose to share them. [More]
Jonathan wanted to opt out everyone in his family from direct marketing campaigns, something the DMA promises is possible via their website. Surprise! It turns out the DMA doesn’t really care so much about whether or not you want to be taken off any mailing lists, and they have a rotten website and poor security protocols to prove it.
We’ll give Unilever points for offering an exhaustive opt-out page that covers every conceivable form of communication you may be receiving from them. We’ll take all those points away, however, and award them a fail badge for creating the world’s longest, most labor intensive opt-out page you’ve ever seen.