A recent expose in Wired Magazine took Amazon to task for its lax consumer privacy practices. The whole article is worth a read, but here are a few key paragraphs:
At that very moment inside Amazon, the division charged with keeping customer data safe for the company’s retail operation was in a state of turmoil: understaffed, demoralized, worn down from frequent changes in leadership, and—by its own leaders’ accounts—severely handicapped in its ability to do its job. That year and the one before it, the team had been warning Amazon’s executives that the retailer’s information was at risk. And the company’s own practices were fanning the danger.
According to internal documents reviewed by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and WIRED, Amazon’s vast empire of customer data—its metastasizing record of what you search for, what you buy, what shows you watch, what pills you take, what you say to Alexa, and who’s at your front door—had become so sprawling, fragmented, and promiscuously shared within the company that the security division couldn’t even map all of it, much less adequately defend its borders.
Amazon may be one of the biggest companies that’s playing fast and loose with your personal data, but it’s far from the only one.
Look no further than the latest statistics on data breaches: So far this year, more than 280 million people have had their data exposed in nearly 1300 publicly reported leaks or breaches. When businesses have a cavalier attitude toward your data and don’t take the necessary safeguards to protect it, more breaches are more likely to occur.
That’s why it’s so important to tightly control the size of your digital footprint. The more businesses that have your data, the more likely that you’ll be a victim of one of these breaches. Breaches can lead to phishing attempts and identity theft.
What can you do? Delete your data from companies that shouldn’t have it. Stop companies from selling it. And even from companies that you do deal with, make sure they only have the bare minimum info to transact with you.
Of course this is easier said than done. Under the GDPR, CCPA, and other similar data privacy laws, you technically have the right to do this—but practically, it's very difficult to do on your own.
That’s where Confidently comes in.
When you subscribe to Confidently, we help you clean up your data trail. We tell hundreds of businesses to stop selling your data and, where possible, to delete your data entirely. We help you stop the spread of your personal data, to give you control over which businesses should -- or should not -- have access to it.
So while you’re shopping for friends and family this holiday season, do yourself a favor and give yourself the gift of online data privacy: Sign up with Confidently!