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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Virtual Vault Secures Personal Data

You've heard the radio ads and have seen the television ads over the past 3-years: protect your on-line identity by purchasing a "reputation" defender product.  When these ads first came out, I thought, what an extravagance; turns out, we do need on-line protection.

Most of us with electronic profiles are aware of the "surveillance economy"; companies are observing our electronic conduct and targeting ads accordingly.

These companies are known as "data brokers" or "information resellers". Unbeknownst to most of us, these companies have been scoring our reputations for years.  This consumer information industry is very large and mostly unregulated.

There is an awful lot these companies know about anyone with a robust electronic profile.  So much so that some members of Congress and a few federal agencies have taken note and quietly began to investigate.

One company,, is set to launch a product designed to control access to your electronic profile, and prevent electronic peeping into your conduct.  Not that you'll be "off-the-grid"; that's impossible these days.  But the product seems poised to take a significant next step in what experts like Seth Godin have termed permission marketing.

Many firms are sensitive to the growing consumer concern in this area, adopting privacy policies posted on the firm's web site, or offering "opt-out" options that nevertheless allow a consumer to browse a site, without leaving a digital footprint.

It will not take long for the privacy law cases and attendant litigation to become ubiquitous.  We here at the Law Blogger will be monitoring this trend and will report back to our readers any significant developments.

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