Staying Informed and Making Yourself Heard

news.jpgThere are lots of sites on the Internet that "cover" consumer privacy. How can you determine which sites deserve your trust? Here are a few tips:

  • Determine who runs the site. Look for an "about us" or "contact" page. If you can't find one or they don't clearly identify who they are then find other sites that do. If there's a list of sponsors, check it out.
  • Read their privacy policy. If you can't find one, find other sites that provide one.
  • Advertising. Does the site have advertising? If so, what is being advertised? Could the advertising influence the site content?

Groups active in privacy advocacy

There are many consumer rights and advocacy groups that are actively involved in researching privacy issues and working for privacy rights. The following groups are well known and respected.

Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
An excellent source for timely, up-to-date information on all aspects of privacy issues. It has descriptions and links to many other consumer privacy advocacy groups and resources. Remar recommends their website and resources as a great place to start.

Consumers Union
The organization that publishes Consumer Reports is also active in many consumer issues including privacy issues, particularly financial privacy, and identity theft.

Privacy.org
Privacy.org provides “daily news, information, and initiatives on privacy. This web page is a joint project of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Privacy International.”

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
This site provides information on various privacy issues and links to information from a variety of sources. Check out the Privacy Survival Guide.

Federal Trade Commission Privacy Initiatives
The Federal Trade Commission is the government agency with oversight of consumer fraud and privacy issues in the marketplace (and that means via phone or online as well as in person). You can file complaints about spam, identity theft, or fraud related to any transaction (online or in person) using links on the site.

Center for Democracy and Technology
This organization focuses on IT, the Internet, and public policy related to privacy issues and advocacy.

Contacting Your Government Representatives

Locate and write to your Member of U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senator, or President as well as local and state officials

Write U.S. Representative

Write U.S. Senator

State and Local Government on the Net provides links to state government offices, state government agencies, and city and county governments.

 

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