I have been using internet for the past five years. I have heard quite a lot about Credit Card Fraud's,Internet Privacy,etc but i never really thought it was true. I thought it was just some bunch of amateur's who didn't really knew how to use the internet. But just after i started thinking about the internet privacy for my eassy. I found that this whole thing in reality was happening.
Just two days before the spring break i got a phone call from NewYork Times and they said do you wanna subscribe to our magzine and they even knew my name and whole not to mention my phone no as well though i had never in my whole life had ever visited their site. I was shocked and then i realiszed that it was probably because of some other site where i might have registerd and had given them all this information. Besides that, nearly everyday i get emails from sites asking me to register to their sites.
Even today i got a mail from eCoupons.com asking me to get registered to their sites and that they will give me $10 discount for the first 50 purchases. But the point is that, where do they get the names and email address from? The Internet contains a wealth of information. Unfortunately, it may also contain personal details about you that you don t want everyone to know.
For example, your real name, street address, phone number, or e-mail address. Also, when you go online, sites you visit may be gathering information about you without your knowledge.Since many Internet sites routinely collect personal information from users, there is a growing concern about the erosion of privacy on the web. Advocates of tighter Internet privacy controls emphasize that the information these sites collect can be sold to third parties or used in ways that individual users never intended. But this information collected might also be used in a useful manner as well which makes the user to browse through the site with his or her preferences.
Internet Privacy and the Government:-
The US Federal Government maintains some sector-specific regulations that govern private information and supports the principle of industry self-regulation on the Internet. There is an ongoing government debate, however, about whether Internet self-regulation will work in practice. Congress has introduced several bills that would establish Internet privacy guidelines, and the Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing industry practices to make sure that they offer users adequate privacy protection.
The Federal Government wants to establish an environment in which individuals have reasonable access to information that an organization holds about them and are able to correct that information where it is inaccurate.
The US private sector does not have a unified position on privacy. It is fair to say, however, that US industry generally supports self-regulatory approaches which will create an environment of trust and foster the protection of individuals' privacy online and in electronic commerce. The Online Privacy Alliance is the major advocate of industry self-regulation and counts several leading Internet companies among its members. Many US companies have privacy policies posted on their web sites that have been certified by TRUSTe. The TRUSTe certification means that users can expect to be notified what information about them is being gathered or tracked, how the information is used, and who the information is shared with.
Much of the international debate about Internet privacy centers around the EU Directive on Data Protection, which became effective on October 25, 1998. The EU Data Directive prohibits the transfer of personally identifiable data to third countries that do not provide an adequate level of privacy protection.
Because the United States relies largely on a sector-specific and self-regulatory approach to
privacy protection, many US organizations are uncertain how the EU Data Directive will affect them. US and European government negotiators are trying to resolve these different approaches by creating a safe-harbor for US companies that choose voluntarily to adhere to certain privacy principles.
There are some sites which i have listed below just goto the following link and see what they know about you.
Softhop Tracer: http://www.softhop.com/tracer.html