Giving away your data

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To the editor:

Most data is obtained legally, with your consent. But many times you donít recognize when you are providing your information. There are many steps you can take to help protect your privacy. Here are a few more that are driven by the upcoming election cycle:

Stop filling out political surveys you get in the mail or over the phone. No matter what they say or imply, those surveys are not directing the actions of any organization. Organizations have boards, or funders, or founders that determine organizational goals.

Stop taking online quizzes and personality tests. Donít give your information to random phone callers. They donít give you any valuable feedback.

Your answers to these kinds of efforts are only used to market to you. If you tell them your most important issue is in support of pink elephants you will later receive postcards letting you know that the candidate they want elected supports pink elephants. It really doesnít matter if that issue is important to the candidate or the organization funding the mailer, it is important to you.

Your interest is used against you to leverage your opinion in support of their goals, whoever ďtheyĒ are. This is the reality of todayís marketing. It is marketing on Facebook, direct mail and those ads that follow you around online.

Your opinion is valuable. But you have to determine if the claims about some candidate or issue agreeing with you is real or just a wedge being used to manipulate you.

óSandy Welch

Kalispell

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