This is great:
I don’t care if my local grocery chain store knows that skirt steak and Corona beer are usually purchased together by males between 24 and 42 years of age.
However, I do care if a search engine company knows that I purchased these items at the grocery chain store at four in the afternoon on Saturday, recently bought a round-trip ticket to Argentina and returned an item to the Macy’s in Union Square last weekend.
Do they serve my needs any better by inserting advertising for Niman Ranch beef, hotel discounts in Buenos Aires and Macy’s latest sale on my Facebook page? I understand why, in terms of advertising rates, this is good for Facebook, but why am I giving up my privacy for this service?
The author goes on to list a great bunch of to-dos for safeguarding your privacy a bit, in this crazy datamining day and age...
Do not use desktop search tools like Google Desktop or Microsoft Desktop Search. A full index of every keyword on your hard drive in the hands of marketers is very useful for the purposes of targeted advertising.
Do not use webmail from a service provider like AT&T, Google or Microsoft. Same reason as above, except here it applies to every email you send or receive.
Do not use browser toolbars or desktop gadgets. Both of these types of add-ons from companies like Yahoo and Google are known to gather information on your online activity for marketing purposes.
Remove all social network accounts. There is loads of good information there that can be used for targeting and correlation. At the very least, remove all personal information and have a username that does not give any clues to your true identity.
I know I'm super leaky: I filter my popmail through Google to soak up the spam, for instance. It's not good.