What a life changer! Upon cleaning out my grandfather's basement after his death, I discovered books like "The Right to be left alone" and "How to be Invisible". Out of curiosity I read both. Wherein the former was full of a lot of opinions, the latter was an actual "How to" book. As I never thought about a "coming storm.." I couldn't FATHOM the peace of mind that would come as a result from aligning my life with Level 2. Upon selling my home and renting, obtaining three ghost addresses that lead out of the country and using a nominee, I felt a bit odd at first doing all this-it was like some sort of game-staying ahead of "the Man". But one day (and there may have been MANY more that I didn't hear about) Uncle Sam came a'knockin' and I was nowhere to be found. I am pleased to not find myself on the web under any search engine. Mr. Luna, Thank you for sharing these marvelous ideas with us! Most of us are trusting individuals and would like to think that "it can never happen to us", but preparing for that one event or that day when someone comes looking for you or that clown walks up to your door carrying parcels and balloons, well, you know the rest. Thank you.
Keith, , Age: 44
Thank everyone for their responses. I appreciate the support for my truly unnerved sense of things related to IM. I'm happy to know I haven't developed some kind of unhealthy paranoia but have been come fanatical about my privacy and am aware some things just aren't safe. This is one of them. Again, thanks, everyone for your savvy and supportive insight and input!
Tina, , Age: 43
Using a nominee starts the anonymous account off right, but to keep it anonymous you'll need to make sure you aren't seen to connect from your home IP. A combination of Tor and HTTPS should be sufficient, or a series of random public hotspots with HTTPS to the site. This way, the account isn't connected to your finances, by virtue of the nominee. Then, your traffic and access to the blogger site is never connected with the rest of your IP trail through the use of Tor or the public hotsopts (or both), and protected from nearby snoopers via the SSL encryption built into HTTPS access.
Elliott, , Age: 20
After reading the wonderful piece in last Friday's USA Today about senior citizens and other making big money off Google ads by creating their own free websites via Blogger.com, I wondered if you can set one up without revealing your actual identity.
Asking this as I am exploring the creation of a consumer review type site and would want to reamin 100% anonymous. Is that at all possible with Blogger.com???
Thomas, , Age: 49
Things like that are why I always recommend open source software. Your Linux installation isn't spying on you. Your Pidgin Instant Messenger isn't spying on you. That's because there are lots of people looking at the code every day. I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can't trust closed source with your privacy. Also, the protocol itself isn't bad: just the proprietary implementations that the corporations use.
Elliott, , Age: 20
With the possible exception of Hush Messenger I wouldn't trust any IM software... and I'm not sure you should trust Hush Messenger either. I'm a software engineer and I've worked in and around the guts of Windows for years now. Instant Messenger programs use what I consider to be an alarming number of system resources in order to perform the fairly simple task of posting messages to a central server. It would be very easy for these service to spy on you and your computer. What good is encryption if every keystroke you typed was forwarded along with the message? I don't mean to be paranoid, but if Yahoo and MSN are willing to spy on traffic it's a very quick jump to spy on keystrokes as well.
Scott, , Age: 38
My wife is not up for living in an appartment or a trailer.
Do you have any ideas for buying a house with out a mortgage in my name?
Paying CASH is not yet an option.
Don, , Age: 41
As the resident proponent of encryption, I feel the urge to speak up regarding the subject of instant messenger software. The first thing to know about it: all of your communications pass through a central server (very much like email). Unless you take specific precautions, all of your communications are sent cleartext, or unencrypted (also very much like email). However, IM is worse in one regard: the server does always know when you're online, and what IP is connecting to it. The thing to remember, though, is that IM has options for encryption as well as email. There is an open source IM client that works on all the major protocols called Pidgin (formerly Gaim) that runs at least Windows and Linux, and probably Mac too. It has an encryption plugin, enabling you to encrypt conversations with people who also use the plugin. Also, as a side note, planning for your security and privacy is easier if you assume that all service providers are out to compromise your privacy. IM protocols aren't any worse than email except in one regard: they know when you're online. Other than that, they're still just servers you can't control that can be assumed to be logging your traffic. Encrypt, Misdirect, and Obfuscate as usual and you're fine.
URL #1: http://www.pidgin.im
Elliott, , Age: 20
"It's called the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe in it" - George Carlin
Richard, , Age: 40
IM is completely unsecure, even the clients from the big providers. I've used a sniffer before to see what people on my network were IM'ing about.
MSN Messenger, while I use it, has horribly vague terms and conditions that go so far as to say they can monitor and act upon any content sent through IM, including disclosing your IM conversation.
If you had a great idea for a new product and told your friend about it over IM, Microsoft could read it and run with it. My employers have always used IM, though only one actually setup their own secure IM server and client. The words "secret" and the "internet" are mutually exclusive in my book.
First- I want to amen the wisdom of not buying real estate until you can pay for it. Our "dream", while not quite a nightmare, has severely limited out options for privacy.
Tina- You are not being paranoid; I think you answered your own question. You're leaving the front door wide open.
I struck up what I thought was a very innocuous friendship with a gal over the internet on a very benign website.
I've never activated messenger but whenever I logged into the site, there SHE was. She would send private messages. I think she has no life outside of sitting in front of her computer.
I realized she had some mental instability and backed off and if I visit that forum, I never log in.
Under NO circumstance would I ever active a feature on my computer that volunteers when I'm online. Too many freaky people out there.
Trust your gut, Tina...you're spot on.
I, like most people these days, would unfortunately have to get a mortgage in order to buy any real estate. If I go the customary route and get a mortgage in my name, is there any way that I can later hide the true ownership of the property, short of paying off the mortgage? Like through a quit claim deed or some other means of titling the property to a nominee or someone else? Or is there some way to give ownership of the property to someone else on public records, while still paying your mortgage?
I have an LLC now, but from what I understand, that will not help me if I am having to finance an asset.Thanks.
Steve, , Age: 43
JJ, I want to thank you for such a great site. All of the posts have been helpful in getting to a better point in my life. I want to thank you for recommending Kitty McMenemy for the LLC service. Her suggestions and encouragement in my own troubling situation of an abusive spouse have been instrumental in keeping by my children and myself safe. She proven on several occasions to be reliable and trustworthy - something that was hard to grant to another person due to the previous situation that I was in. We have been 'invisible' for about two years now and look forward to another 40 years of peace and quiet. Although the journey to privacy has been bumpy and difficult at times, it has been worth the journey.
Jennifer, , Age: 31
I should probably know the answer to this question but does instant messaging compromise privacy in a specific way? If so, how? A friend of mine wants to send me an invitation to Yahoo! Messenger but, frankly, IMing wigs me out because it's like your computer is open to the world even more so than "always on" broadband. It seems like it's like keeping the front door to your house wide open. Am I just paranoid?
Tina, , Age: 43
Another option is to get a truck with a camper on the back. In Texas, you only need to register the truck, no the camper, so only one registration to deal with.
Dean, , Age: 52
A third choice is a variation on Jack's Q-Trailer. Purchase a large box truck and a SMALL gas or electric car. Rather than towing the car put it IN the truck. Put a glass door/wall about six feet inside the main rear doors, or as close to the back of the truck box as the car will allow. You can then use the front of the truck's box as your home. When the car is out of the truck you can use the garage area as a porch. Everything you need and no one will be able to guess what is up until you open the back door! The top of the truck is large enough to put up a LOT of solar cells. The solar panels provide shade as well if you allow for some airflow between them and the truck box.
John, , Age: 37
[Edited for length] Why are there so many questions regarding LLCs and EINs? JJL has never purported using the NM LLC for anything other than vehicle/real estate titling. JJ, why not put a button to click at the top that reads, "How to use your NM LLC with your new business" and when they click on it, it says, "Don't!"
Tim, , Age: 53
I am seriously considering living in an RV for privacy reasons. I want to buy a relatively inexpensive used RV, but I can't really decide between a trailer and a motorhome. I have past experience with both and each has it's pros and cons. Considering the need for privacy, security, registration hassles, buying with an LLC, etc., which would you recommend as the best alternative?
Steve, , Age: 43
[Edited for length] The proxy you recommended, youhide.com, in my opinion is useful for little more than masking browsing habits to an employer. It may well be ineffective for that, as the employer, if they're blocking sites, will probably block proxies as well. As far as serious anonymity or privacy, it has no verifiable benefits. The server cannot be tested, the protocols cannot be analyzed, and thus there is no way to determine what happens to the data. My recommendation for serious digital privacy: Access a randomly selected public wifi hotspot from as far away as you can; use MAC Address changing software (this is free in the Linux world); use Tor (still useful as long as you encrypt your traffic, even with the breaks), as this will further obfuscate your location; keep multiple online identities and keep them separate, preferably using open-source password and identity management utilities (such as Password Safe, from Bruce Schneier, for starters); and keep all data encrypted when not in use.
... Ideally, sensitive data should be stored on a separate, removable, volume, perhaps never even attached to an internet connected computer. As far as backups go: heavy encryption with annoyingly large passwords (20+ characters) is best, and then store it in multiple places (remote, online storage; external hard drive kept in a firesafe; etc.).
Elliott, , Age: 19
In response to Mike's post #2997, people need to know that if you get out there on the net, *as yourself* (which academics and artists and others frequently do), people are apt to say WHATEVER THEY WANT about you, even though their words are patently untrue, and there is not a thing you can do about it, aside from immensely expensive and time-consuming legal action.
Some of the finest and most innocent individuals have been attacked and accused of things, for which they are entirely innocent. But given the human impulse to think "where there's smoke, there's fire," their reputations have been damaged. One simply cannot appear as oneself without risking this.
Mura, , Age: 47
If this article is not enough to motivate someone to live a life of relative privacy, then very little will. In many respects, I am glad that I missed the internet revolution throughout much of my teen years. The fascinating part to the internet that still to this day stumps me, is how many people will read things on the internet and immediately think they are true.
URL #1: http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7008974511
Mike, , Age: 36
Tech support at my provider just recommended this free proxy server: http://youhide.com/ I'd like to get opinions on this.
URL #1: http://youhide.com/
Mura, , Age: 47
Good (and fairly sophisticated) advice from across the pond on thwarting Big Brother.
URL #1: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2200579,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=technology
Everett, , Age: 55
"You do not need an email address of your own. One hacker I spoke to sends emails from cybercafes via The Observer website, using the service which allows anyone to send any article to a friend. He embeds his message into the covering note which goes with the article."
Your ideas sound good. I agree - I never link addresses through the post office by giving them forwarding information. After all, they are a federal agency. Some banks mail a paper copy of your annual tax statement to you. It will likely have your social security number on it. Make sure your bank DOES NOT do this before you allow it to have a fake address.
Larry, , Age:
Forget the i-phone, it is going where Palm has gone. It is interesting because we, in USA, are cellphone deprived. Buy a prepaid SIM card from AT&T or T-Mobile and check out the new Asian phones, they leave US in the dust. And you will have a unique but stable phone.
URL #1: http://asia.cnet.com/reviews/handhelds/0,39001703,40261740p,00.htm
Mark, , Age: 47
Some concerns about online privacy...
URL #1: http://tech.msn.com/security/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5429730>1=10540
Charlie, , Age: 62
There are no rules or requirements that you file a change of address at the Post Office. Why not just skip it. If you are "taking care of business"...change those few addresses that really need it (banks, credit cards, insurance) at the source provider. Leave a forwarding address at the utilities for your final bills. And just move. Better yet...go completely paperless...get all your bills and bank statements online only and print them if you must. Make all payments online. The banks and credit card providers will love you. Most all of my notifications come to my e Mail address even those few that come by snail mail (regualr service mail). I get e Mail notifications when my statements are available and get online to conduct business. Only use cell phones for your contact number. If you change cell phone services keep the old number or if it has to change...call and update your contact number where needed.
Charlie, , Age: 62
Japan hopes to thwart potential terrorists from entering the country by fingerprinting and photographing all foreigners aged 16 or over on entry starting next month.
URL #1: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/26/ap/asia/main3414021.shtml
Christopher, , Age: 40
Hi JJ. I already have LLCs and ghost addresses, and I bought the 3-e-book package last week. I am a happy customer, and do you have any OTHER services, such as for nominees?
Jane, , Age: 55
As for other services, I might provide them if I knew what was required. Perhaps you or other readers could give me some suggestions?
Drew, about the iPhones (from the artitcle linked below):
'... a technology group in Russia released the results of their attempts to reverse engineer the iPhone, concluding that the product has "A built-in function which sends all data from an iPhone to a specified web-server. Contacts from a phonebook, SMS, recent calls, history of Safari browser - all your personal information can be stolen.
The module could act as a backdoor for trojan developers or AT & T, said the report, adding that "government structures" would have access to the information.'
I think that's reason enough not to use an iPhone.
URL #1: http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/july2007/200707iphonesurveillance.htm
Beau, , Age: 42
Mike, I believe one of the major reasons that Apple went with AT&T is because they were the only carrier willing to work with them on things like the iPhone's visual voicemail system. Cell phone carriers have been calling the shots for too long when it comes to cellular technology and it's nice to see one working with a cell phone manufacturer rather than telling the manufacturer how it's going to be.
On a more privacy related note, I don't believe the iPhone has any GPS technology built in to it, at least not the current models.
Drew, , Age: 30
Perhaps you or a reader know an answer or can suggest something:
The company I work for has asked that I be the "Authorized Account Manager" on their corporate American Express account. However, they require a SSN for identification purposes in order to manage the account. I gave them a bogus string of numbers, but they run the number and confirm that its invalid. I said I'm foreign and don't have a SSN, but still want account access, and suggested that they cannot discriminate based on nationality. Their response is that due to the Patriot Act they are required to have a valid SSN in order to have any AMEX account or account access. This sounds unbelievable. Your thoughts?
Adam, , Age: 31
Pat, when I moved from FL (before ever hearing of HBTI so if I believed in coincidences...), I got a CMRA and filled out the PF1583 accurately, using my FL driver's license with an address of another CMRA (which is perfectly legal in FL, as you know) and my then lease as ID. (The whole P.O. box thing seemed like a glaring "she's trying to hide" red flag to me so I avoided that.) I THEN MOVED OUT OF STATE. After moving out of state, I began having my mail forwarded, by the CMRA, to my nominee using a payment method in her name, in another state and they forward it to me in another envelop that doesn't show where the mail came from. (Her name is NOT on the box so there's no connection in any database to her and me at that address.) Is this more expensive? Yes but my privacy is worth the cost, trust me. I got a PrivatePhone.com number for the CMRA to call if they need anything from me and I keep the number active since it's also the number my creditors have. Anytime I give that address for anything (like petitions which I intentionally fill out with that information to keep it in the databases!) I use that phone number. I pay my quarterly fees for the mailbox, on time, with a credit card in my own name, the statements for which GO TO THAT ADDRESS (along with those for any other creditors and any subscriptions in my name). Because I pay on time and am available by phone, they forward my mail without asking questions. I did this over a year ago and now, my current "personal" address in all of the commercial databases is THAT address. Moreover, giving the post office that address as a permanent forwarding address (which is the post office accepts if it's a residential address you're forwarding from) has worked in my favor because it's a legal mailing receiving address and I'm not committing fraud using it--I can be reached by mail! It's also now on my driver's license and vehicle registration. Again, while in FL, that's legal, I wouldn't necessarily use this method in other states before checking whether it's legal. If you go this route while still in FL, it should work out for you, especially if you're leaving the Tampa area or state entirely. Finally, for me at least, reading HBTI only confirmed what I did personally and caused me to seriously up the privacy ante with my businesses...I now have CMRAs (and associated PrivatePhone.com numbers) in three states and I set them up using the principles for using pseudonyms and LLCs to set up ghost addresses found in HBTI. Reread the sections of the book that refer to this procedure for doing it correctly (and search this site for other ideas or answers to your questions) so you can get it right for your situation.
Wendy, , Age:
Just thought I'd mention that VISA has recently (as of sometime in September) changed its policies on all of their pre-paid cards. These cards can no longer be used for subscription-type payments (Netflix, website access, etc.). The Simon giftcards, which up to now were the answer to my prayers, are VISA based and thus affected by this change.
Travis, , Age: 28
The way you activate an iPhone using an LLC or alternate name is to open a GOPHONE account. (The monthly debit "Pick Your Plan" option is cheaper, you get more features (included an unlimited internet access option) and the minutes roll over BUT there's no monthly bill with all of your business on it AND there's NO CONTRACT, NO CREDIT CHECK. The other option, "Pay As You Go" is like any other prepaid plan where you buy minutes up front and it's more expensive. BOTH provide privacy features that traditional plans don't because no SS# or tax ID is attached.) Establish the GoPhone account FIRST and stick the SIM card into the iPhone. That's it. I know it works because when I had to buy a new phone recently, I started to get an iPhone but realized that, even with a prepaid GoPhone account, I'd still be surfing the net, looking at web sites and email that's associated with me, calling other's phones, etc. And, in the databases on web sites associated with Google, eBay and Yahoo!, which I use frequently, my internet activity (as well as my iTunes use and downloads) would then be associated with my cell phone number and I didn't want that. Instead, I bought a Razr2 (for about the same price and under a pseudonym directly from the manufacturer) and limit my text messaging to my son, who also has a GoPhone account and don't surf the net on the phone. (I would have been too tempted to do so with an iPhone.) I use my iPod (which I registered in a pseudonym in an entirely different state and opted out of mailings, etc.) for my MP3 and podcast downloads (and purchase files, audiobooks, albums, etc., using a debit card drawn on an out-of-state bank that doesn't have my SS# attached). I surf the net on my home computer. Thus, I kept my privacy, to the extent anyone can today, AND got a great new phone without signing any contracts and giving up the enjoyment of new technology. Finally, it's best to keep the technology separate anyway because, if you drop your iPhone or it otherwise dies, then what do you do if you've put all of your MP3s, audiobooks, address books, photos, etc. and haven't exactly been regularly synching with your computer? Anyway, skip the iPhone (if you haven't already purchased it) and use separate devices to truly preserve your privacy. If you have purchased your iPhone and can't or won't return it, get a GoPhone account with unlimited nights and weekends, unlimited internet access, unlimited text messaging and their MediaLife (or whatever it's called) option for downloading MP3s, ringtones or whatever and stick the SIM card into the phone. You'll have all the same features at about the same price as a traditional plan with more privacy and the phone will work the same way.
Wendy, , Age: 43
My family and I (husband, wife and kids) are moving out of state and I want to leave the radar screen. My background has been wide-open in the past. From your book this what I have as a game plan:
1) Open up a CRMA with Pakmail in a nearby city to which I currently live next to. Me and my wife, along with a trusted friend will be the applicants. My friend will pick up the mail and forward to me.
Q. I want to feel comfortable signing form PS1583. 1) What form of ID's to use? I was thinking about my passport and car insurance or car registration card and should I delete out the date on the passport?
2. Complete a temporary change of address form with the USPS to the Pakmail address for the 6 months.
Q. Will the USPS take a change of address to a CRMA?
3. I will open up a PO Box in the neighboring town of where we are moving. We will be renting our first residence where we are moving to. I will try to keep this address with the USPS, without giving the USPS the second address. All of the mail the you outlined in your box will go to this PO Box.
Q. Since I want to feel comfortable signing form PS1093 how should I handle the ID requirement calling for current address?
Q. Now a days you can turn of statements and receive e-statments and e-billings. Do you recommend this instead of receiving such by mail to the PO Box?
4. Lastly, I am working on a ghost address and I think I have this taken care of.
In the interim from leasing to buying in our new location I will look into setting up a NM LLC.
I will try not to ever use my home address again.
Pat, , Age: 43
I have had great luck with both the Simon Mall giftcards by Visa & the Mastercards sold at my bank. I register them on their website under whatever name I choose & a shipping address, then use it online. If I plan not to use it online, I do not register the card at all. You might try the cards from SunTrust bank. I have never used them, but, from their website, they sound just like the MCs I get at our local bank. Btw, bank personnel, in my experience, know next-to-nothing about how these cards work. Some things you just figure it out by trial & error.
Ann, , Age: 30s
If you go into an AT&T store and ask for their pre-paid, then that should not be a problem. I used my Privacash card to buy the phone and start the service. I did not have any problems. Yes, AT&T does stink and I have no clue as to why Apple would hitch their trailer to show a low-class carrier.
Mike, , Age: 36
Here is an article that tells you how to start a business of your own after Construction on a building. The woman is one who built her own log cabin herself, so she is one who bears listening to.
URL #1: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ainsworth76.html
Hugh, , Age: 52
Does anyone know how to get an iphone activated through AT&T not using your name? I too looked into the pre-paid Visa thing, and both AT&T and the Visa people weren't sure if it would work smoothly,(Re: direct withdrawal of funds monthly). I tried my LLC, and was asked to produce SS#, ID, and a Tax ID #. I looked into "un-lock software" allowing me to use the SIM card from any provider in the phone, but later found out this would cause problems with software updates. Any one else hate AT&T? I can't figure out why Apple gave AT&T the monopoly on providing service to iphone owners.
janet, , Age: 34
Teresa, the cards with the expiration dates in the year 2007 work on the Internet, the cards with expiration dates after that, like in 2009 definately do not. I purchased one recently with a 2007 expiration date and it worked fine. Went back a few days later and they can't get the cards to activate. They said they've been having problems with them. Perhaps stores with older 2007 expiry batches are all having the same problem. Went to another store, purchased a one with a 2009 expiry date, and no dice, doesn't work online at all, not even for sites I'd always used them at, just as you've found. Yes, some gas stations require you to go inside. Some won't take them at all. Some work at the pump. I used to buy them all the time, and used up the reminding amounts at restaurants or even at McDonalds if a small amount remained - yeah, you can buy just a ice cream cone for a buck and it'll go through just fine to use up the funds. The reality is that we are better off purchasing only from companies that permit mail-in money order payments. The cards are expensive ($6 fee for the $100 one). It's alot of management work to keep payments up-to-date. In general, companies in Canada tend to be very friendly about mail-in payments, like for technical services, etc. Also, offshore companies are very cool. Small start-up tech companies in America offering a service - phone services, for example, often only accept credit cards. Canadian companies tend to be better in alot of ways anyway.
Marquette, , Age: 51
We purchased a Vanilla Visa gift card to try out and our experience: Don't waste your money.
We tried to use it for an internet purchase: no dice. That vendor told us to use PayPal for the transaction and it was rejected there also.
I then used it at Publix for gas and it rejected it at the pump but allowed for it inside at the till. And then it rejected again when I tried to purchase something else.
Anyone know of any other debit gift card that works better than this fiasco?
Theresa, , Age: 43
Hello Mr. Luna:
Do you know if there is a way to find out if your home phone line is being tapped. I have 5 land lines because I run a business out of my home but none are in my true name. The name on the account isn't even a real person, but the phone company doesn't know and I'm not going to tell them. Recently, my wife and I think we are hearing strange sounds on the main line(the line we use for personal use)that were not there before. Any suggestions?
Howard, , Age: 51
Grocery stores that use discount cards are paying well for your private
information, so it must be profitable to them.
I'm sure the health insurance companies are among the purchasers of such
information. The day may come when they say they won't pay for someone's
heart bypass surgery because the person ate too many pizzas, etc.
Maria, , Age: 22
For Gene, 2961.
The full answer to your question is much to long to post here, but I'll give you the abbreviated version.
The source of the rumor is in the Crypto API that Microsoft uses for disk, SSL and logon encryption has a couple of function calls that start with "NSA_". Someone saw that and ran with it, starting the rumor. The truth is, for the longest time "strong" encryption was considered a munition that you needed an export license for. Microsoft maintained "strong" and "weak" versions of their OS. The "strong" version (128-bit cyphers) was for sale in the U.S. and Canada only. The "weak" version (40-bit cyphers) was for everywhere else. These functions checked and enforced that. The function headers were a programmer's lame attempt at humor.
As to why trust the NSA? The law has nothing to do with it. Installing these types of backdoors in software so prone to bugs is unreliable, unpredictable, difficult and very, very easy to detect.
Keep in mind, if the *NSA* wants to spy on you, they don't have to bother with such silly attempts as a bugged version of Windows. Besides just tapping your ISP they could probably wire every inch of your house, car, school, job and pets just for entertainment. We are talking about the largest single governmental budgeted agency here.
Charles, , Age: 39
I have 10 of those cards and none of it has my real name or correct mailing address!
Noticed some accept just your name without producing ID but others asked for DL!
Sometime ago a customer fell and injured hence filed a lawsuit.
He was stunned the grocery violated his privacy by bringing up in court what he purchased on his card.....he bought a lot of alcohol beverages hence was accused of being an alcoholic and fell because he was drunk!
Needlessly to say he sued for violating his privacy and won!
WISE not to use your real name or mailing address!
John, , Age: 57
PrivatePhone.com numbers that are not being called and a voicemail left (even if by you!) at least once or twice are being deactivated. Check the email associated with this free voicemail number to make sure you haven't been notified that your number, especially if it's associated with a bank account, credit card or business (or you gave it to the IRS or another creditor!) is about to be or has been deactivated. Follow the instruction in the email to keep your number valid (and in the databases as a legitimate contact number for you or your business) to prevent suspicion about you or your business from a canceled number.
Wendy, , Age: 43
Jacky, I'd check with your state's consumer affairs office to see if it's legal for a store in your state to deny you ADVERTISED sales prices because you refuse to provide your information for their database to get a store discount card. It's probably illegal for a store to do so and you may be able to tell the store manager that. However, I can tell you that here, I've gotten and regularly use the major drug and grocery store discount cards (including Kroger) and simply haven't given them ANY information. I tell them I'll fill the database card out later and never return the card. When they've insisted, I've ignored them (or in the case of one store, gave completely bogus address info and Private Phone number; I used an LLC, business address in another state and PrivatePhone.com number in that state for my Best Buy card). I really don't think stores here can deny me the advertised sales price because I refuse to complete their database cards so I simply won't. Guess what? The cards work fine with no (or little accurate) information associated with it that leads back to me, personally. Remember, however, using the store discount cards with a personal debit/credit card may lead to your info being connected to the card in some database anyway. (Similarly, in cases where getting a discount or rebate compromises your privacy (i.e., you have to fill out a form to get coupons mailed to you, deposit a rebate check in your personal bank account OR provide accurate info in order to have points earned credited to some charity), ask yourself if if it's worth it.) Providing no info and using only cash is the only certain way to prevent info about you from being linked in databases. In cases where you have to provide some info, either do without the discount or do whatever you can, within the law, to thwart accurate information about you being added to any marketing (and, ultimately, commercial) database and you'll be fine.
Wendy, , Age: 43
Can stores really refuse me savings others get because i dont have a kroger card? They want all kinds of info im not willing to give. not having one costs me a good ten dollars for every grocery shopping trip. i usually ask another customer for theirs because the cashiers are no longer allowed to use their own cards for customers. can they get away with this? Because i wont give out my information?
jacky randal, , Age: 34
You have said you travel with two laptops. Does that look out of place say when going into mexico on foot or by car? Do they try to hit you up for more taxes, or do they ask why you have two, and if so what is a appropriate answer to tell them? Anything else we need to know?
Experiences to other countries would be secondary in importance but will also be appreciated.
frank, , Age: 39
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