"The average American is listed in at least 50 databases, and that's not counting government files."
This is the lead line in this article from PC Magazine about the amount of data that is stored about you in all the databases that different corporations have. Privacy on the Internet continues to be a long-term issue that concerns me greatly. I worry that our personal information is becoming a commodity on the network and that it will only be the technically savvy/elite and wealthy that are able to retain some control of their personal information.
What can you do to help ebb the flow? Be aware of this issue! The next time you are at Best Buy and they ask you for your zip code when making a purchase, say no! When asked to give freely information that can be used to give a profile for you, refuse. If you receive value that you feel is justified for turning over this information then go ahead, this is a transaction to buy your personal information. Just don't give it away!
Organizations like the EFF are keeping an eye on this and they can use your support. Also, there is legislative action going on in this arena and it's worth being aware of and letting your representatives know you care. With George W. at the helm, who knows what could happen to privacy legislation!