The New York Times

You're Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back.

YOU CAN’T STOP ALL OF IT, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE UP.

Here are some mildly terrifying things I learned when I recently did an online privacy checkup: Google was sharing my creditworthiness with third parties. If you want Target to stop sharing your information with marketers, you have to call them. And, my favorite: If you would like Hearst, the publishing giant, to stop sharing your physical mailing address with third parties, you have to mail a physical letter with your request to the company’s lawyers.

Cool cool cool.

I was inspired by this story my colleague Kashmir Hill wrote this month about the company Sift, which collects your consumer data and gives you a secret consumer score.

“As consumers, we all have ‘secret scores’: hidden ratings that determine how long each of us waits on hold when calling a business, whether we can return items at a store, and what type of service we receive,” Ms. Hill wrote. “A low score sends you to the back, though the company is backed up because of the “recent press coverage.” It took them two weeks to respond to my request.)

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