How to Protect your Privacy -- Personal, Financial, Digital

I’m not going to comment beyond to say that this is an extremely stupid thing for anyone to claim “matters” in any way, shape, or form. Not you for bringing it up, just the situation itself. Might as well start claiming that the black ink those articles were printed with must mean those authors are clearly racist, too.

Sure, I’m paranoid and you’re ignorant about both current and future technology. First of all, you’re assuming, or at the very least trusting Google to keep the recordings anonymous. They’re likely tied to your Google account. If you happen to have a Google Pay account or any of its prior iterations, Google knows exactly who you are and where you live (they probably know where you live if you’ve ever enabled GPS or WiFi on a Google device). Those recordings, even if “anonymous”, could contain your actual personal information, because you might have shared it while talking to your plumber, bank, or any service provider on the phone. Also even anonymous information can be de-anonymized (there were papers and news demonstrating this some years ago). If theft or public dump of voice data were to occur, it’s quite probable that someone will write an algorithm to scan it for something identifiable, starting with strings of numbers for example. The algorithm probably exists already, likely used by the three-letter-agencies to listen for keywords.

So what’s your definition? This thread is for everyone, and the wiki is organized from least to most paranoid :grimacing:


Ah… See, I consider such services to actually be a threat to my privacy. I rarely use them, and when I do it’s tied to a standalone, throwaway account. If you use google pay using the same email account you use for "personal’ communications, then I’d say it is you who does not care about privacy. :slight_smile:

You’re ignoring that there are two prongs in play - even if the anonymosity is removed, there still is the question of caring about if anyone hears it. While I might choose to not publicize certain aspect of my life, there’s also nothing that would cause me to commit suicide should it get out.

Seriously, when you talk about basing your actions on the fear your anonymous household conversations might possibly be release and potentially attributed back to you at some point in the future, I can only imagine discussions regarding bank robbery plans and where to bury the latest body. I cant fathom regular, routine, non-incriminatory household subjects that would merit such a serious proactive response.

I tell a lot of racist jokes about Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, and Asians. I mean, some of my best friends are Jews, Muslims, Mexicans, and Asians. They’re the ones who told me the jokes, I’m just repeating them.

:smile: :rofl::wink:

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If you think Google doesn’t know that you have multiple accounts, then you’re not being as careful as you think. You’d have to use another IP address (or VPN) and a separate or clean browser profile (every time) in order to completely disconnect your “throwaway” account from any others.

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My posts on this forum are enough to cancel me if anyone ever really wants to. It’s much more likely that I piss off the wrong trans-rights-activist that is able to dig up my posts here (all within the bounds of legitimate debate, but all very conservative) and connect this account to me and my real job at a left-leaning institution and get me fired than any of the random crap I say in front of Alexa will come back to bite me. I think both scenarios are extremely unlikely, but the worry I have about Alexa ratting me out is orders of magnitude lower than someone with a vendetta putting my worst online posts on their substack and somehow getting it to go viral.

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I heard you say: “the worry I have about Alexa ratting me out”

:grimacing: :robot:

Isn’t that what we’re talking about with the amazon devices in the home always listening?

Yes, we are. I’m pointing out (using Alexa’s own speaking style, I think) that you still worry about Alexa, no matter how little. Your comment appeared to downplay the problem, but everyone has a different level of privacy concern / paranoia and all we do here is share information so everyone can make a more informed decision for themselves :eyes: .


Sorry, I guess that one flew over my head. Maybe I would have caught it if you said:
“I’m sorry, I have no results for “Ratting Me Out.” Would you like to watch Ratatouille on Disney Plus?”


Your cheap tax prep software or tax prep firms sold your income and tax info to Facebook, and who knows who else as well.


And lest one thinks that it was only financial info the Meta Pixel acquired …

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Don’t know who I think is worse… Zuckerberg, Putin, or the Devil.

When are the class-action lawsuits going to finally hit Facebook?

I’m impressed that you can narrow it down to three. :slight_smile:

In this case, and this case only, I don’t fault the Zuck. As for the breach that I posted, it was solely due to Novant being to cheap/lazy/greedy to test their implementation of the Meta Pixel. Rudimentary testing should have shown that the data being shared was available to Facebook if they wanted it.

Novant’s arrogance was on display in their initial announcement, stating that their attempts to find out what Facebook did with the erroneously shared data were met with no response.

Ever wonder how fintechs can pay out better than traditional financial companies? Selling your soul financial data is one way. It’s partially laid out here.

One point that caught my eye is that fintechs can aggregate and sell a lot more of your financial data than traditional financial institutions. They aren’t governed by the same rules as banks, credit unions, brokers, etc.

While I’m generally for a less government, caveat emptor, etc. I think a lot of companies, particularly fintechs, should be required to disclose in plain language exactly what data they’re selling/sharing/renting.


I wasn’t before, but now I am wondering which fintechs pay out better than traditional financial companies?

Wealthfront comes to mind as it was at or near the top for savings, but, thankfully, their privacy policy explicitly states “We will never rent, sell or trade your Personal Information to anyone. Ever.”

Plaid, the only real example in the article, is indeed a problem, but they don’t pay you. No idea if they integrate with fintechs for free in exchange for the data, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

Zelle is probably more like a traditional bank, since it is owned by traditional banks. They probably don’t get the same access as Plaid.

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Due to the nature of Wealthfront’s business, I expect them to be among the most responsible. They have lots of opportunities to make money without selling data. Do they comment anywhere about “sharing” your personal info?

They do. Privacy Policy - Wealthfront. Lots of ways to share in there, but at least they promise to not sell.

So they’re giving it away? I don’t think so. They share for a reason, and it ain’t goodwill with their clients/mules.

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I don’t know what they’re actually doing, but the policy says they could share with a business partner for a business reason, which really means any one and any reason.