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Business and Companies

The businesses and companies at this higher level are the ones that buy and collect information from the smaller businesses that we deal with directly to do our business. To better understand the difference between the levels of these businesses, we have included the diagram below to help illustrate these relationships.

We do not directly give these higher level businesses our personal identifying information. Our information is generally gathered by the lower level businesses we interact with on a regular basis. Let’s talk in more detail about the businesses and companies we deal with on a daily business that share, sell, and release our personal information.

Businesses and companies need our personal information to provide us, the customer, with the specific service they offer. We give the business our information in good faith believing the information we provide them is meant only so they can provide us a service. We do not realize that these businesses, in a majority of cases, turn around and share, sell, or release our information to higher level businesses, usually to make a profit.

To assist us with understanding this concept, as we progress through the chapters, we need to take a look at what we do on a daily basis in our personal lives and identify what companies and businesses we have a relationship with. Each person’s life style is different so there will not be one model that fits each and every person that reads this book. You will need to take a look at your life to identify the specific businesses you have contact with on a daily, weekly, monthly and\or annual basis. You will need to determine what personal information they have on you, become familiar with their privacy policy, and exercise any and all opt-out options they provide. We can not stress to you enough that these businesses and companies are making more money selling our personal information than they are just having us as customers.

Throughout this book, we will discuss numerous examples of the types of businesses you may deal with that are releasing your information. The main idea we want to stress in this section is getting you to understand that when we, as consumers, give a company or business our personal identifying information that business will probably share, sell, or release it to a higher level business that in turn compiles and re-sells it to publicly available information sources.

Some examples of the types of business we deal with on a regular basis that are sharing our personally identifiable information are:
Newspapers
Movie rentals stores
Grocery store discount cards
Department stores
Gas Stations

Restaurants

For your convenience, we have included a form that will assist you with creating your list of the businesses and companies you deal with on a regular basis. You should be most interested in those businesses that have any item of your personally identifiable information, such as your name, date of birth, social security number, home address and home phone number. Keep a journal with you and start compiling this information. This task may take you awhile, because you may not realize initially how many business relationships you actually have. Be patient and diligent and have the confidence that it will all come together at the end of the protection process.

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