Information is valuable

Your personal data is valuable

This site is here to help you:

  • Make smart choices about who you give your personal data to
  • Understand your online rights
  • Help you take action steps to improve how your data is handled
Information is valuable

Most of the time, in order to use an online service, you’re asked to share your data. We’ve all shared our personal information with e-commerce and media companies. These companies use our data to make recommendations, fill orders, send out special offers, and more.

The purpose of this site is to help you understand how your personal data is being used, and how to ensure you remain in control of it.

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It's your data - it's your choice.

  • Does the digital world feel a little creepy sometimes?
  • Ever wonder whether someone’s listening to your conversations?
  • Do you have a sinking feeling you’re being watched?

We love our online world — it’s where we work, listen to music, order groceries or gifts and stay in touch with friends. We see huge possibilities for creating a beautiful future on the Internet… and we want you to be safe in that world.


Is there any point in worrying about your data? The past few years have been like the “wild west” of data collection — without regulations, almost nothing has been “off limits.”


More recently, people have said, “enough!” The online world is tired of scandals and nobody likes worrying about their safety.


Regulators in some places have stepped up to try and make laws that keep things safer.


Data safety is going to change over the next few years. Knowing your rights and understanding how your data is used will help you stay on the beautiful side of the Internet.


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Quick Tips - Online Safety 101

Your primary email account password should be guarded with your life! Why? Because if I can get into your email then I can request a password reset on almost every site you use. Ta Da - I’ve got access to your every digital footprint. This isn’t just a bedtime scary story. It happened to Wired reporter Mat Honan.


1960s

The US Government Collects Data on American Citizens


Following President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to create a centralized database with every citizen’s information ...
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1991

The Internet Goes Public


Previously a military project, the Internet is opened up to the public. Entrepreneurs start earning money online ...
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1994

A Sting CD is the First Thing Sold on the Internet


On August 12, 1994, the internet enables the first e-commerce purchase. A Philadelphia resident ...
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Netscape Uses the First Cookie and Creates SSL


Netscape creates the first browser cookie. In 1994, it fulfills the same purpose as it does today: allowing companies ...
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1995

Amazon and eBay Launch Their Websites


In July 1995, Jeff Bezos launches Amazon as an online bookstore. In the autumn of 1995, Pierre Omidyar ...
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1995

The European Data Protection Directive Is Adopted


Following privacy concerns regarding the websites that started collecting customer data in the period ...
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1996

A New Way to Reach Your Audience


With the Internet, marketers suddenly have a new way to communicate to their potential customers. Hotmail develops a free email service ...
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1997

Surfers Beware: The Electronic Privacy Information Center Reviews 100 Most Popular Sites


In 1997, the Electronic Privacy Information Center reviews a hundred of the Internet’s most popular sites only ...
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1998

PayPal Launches


PayPal launches as an online payment system and a money transfer tool used by e-commerce websites ...
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1999

The DoubleClick Merger Scandal


Advertising giant DoubleClick plans to merge with data brokerage company, Abacus Direct ...
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2000s

The Patriot Act, Total Information Awareness, and Surveillance Following 9/11


Following 9/11, the USA starts developing technology that will enable the government to gather, analyze and ...
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2000s

The Creation of Network Advertising Initiative


Following the DoubleClick scandal and other data privacy concerns, a group of industry experts form the Network ...
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2000s

Online Credit Card Fraud


In early 2000’s, online credit card fraud increases due to insecure protocols used to transmit financial ...
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Google Launches AdWords


Google AdWords (now known as Google Ads) is initially released on October 28, 2000.
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2003

MySpace Launches


In 2003, Chris DeWolfe, Tom Anderson and Jon Hart establish MySpace — the first major social network.
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The Can Spam Law


Inboxes grow crowded as digital marketers email customers and spam becomes a very real problem.
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2004

Rampant Web Attacks


2004 sees rampant hacker attacks. Web software vulnerabilities are hacked to intercept sensitive data.
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The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI) is Formed


With the threat of cyber attacks and the rise of online shopping’s popularity, the PCI is formed to ensure ...
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Facebook is Born


On February 4, 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and others team up and create Facebook.
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LATE
2004

PCI Releases the First Unified Security Standard


New unified security standard is introduced, in an attempt to facilitate safer and more secure online shopping ...
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2007

Facebook Launches the First News Feed


Facebook launches the first News Feed. Facebook is accused of breaching user privacy. The news feed ...
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Google Introduces Street View


Google introduces Street View. Google cars start roaming streets worldwide, capturing images to show in maps.
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Google Acquires DoubleClick


Google moves into online display advertising, with the $3.1 Billion purchase of DoubleClick, the largest online ...
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2008

Facebook Launches Social Login


Facebook launches a social login service, Facebook Connect. Users can now log into a variety of sites using ...
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2009

Facebook Copyright Qualms


Following public outrage, Facebook modifies their terms of use to offer more data rights to users.
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2009

Appreciation Engine Is Founded


In 2009, The Appreciation Engine (AE) is founded by Jeff Mitchell and Annabel Youens with a singular purpose: use data to create a two-way relationship between businesses and consumers.
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Permission-Based Email Marketing


By 2009, email marketers realize that many of their emails aren’t even reaching their prospects’ inboxes.
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2010

Birth of Instagram


In October of 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launch Instagram – a photo-sharing social network.
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2011
2012

Google Introduces the Omnichannel Experience


Google announces that it will consolidate user data across a variety of Google platforms to offer a better ...
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Facebook Acquires Instagram


In April, Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 Billion. The change in Terms of Use means all users agreed by ...
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2012

Email Audience Segmentation and Targeting


Infusionsoft, an email marketing company, raise more than $71 Million ...
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2014

iCloud Under Attack


Hackers released not-so clothed pictures of celebrities stolen from their Apple iCloud accounts. The leak ...
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2014

Experian Hack


Experian, one of the world’s largest credit agency data brokers was hacked. 15 million people who applied ...
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2017

Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL)


The transition period for the implementation of practices outlined in CASL ended. The law requires everyone ...
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Equifax hack


May through July 2017 personal information stored by the US credit bureau was stolen through a security ...
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2018

GDPR


EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into force. This regulation outlines how consumer data can be ...
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California Consumer Privacy Act


California followed EU’s suit in 2018 by creating the CCPA. Similarly to GDPR, the CCPA also outlines how ...
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2018

Over 21 Facebook Privacy Scandals


There were over 21 Facebook privacy scandals, and they quickly poured into 2019, as well.
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2018

Safer Sites with the HTTPS Protocol


Google announces that not having a SSL certificate (HTTPS protocol) would impact the ranking of websites.
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From the time the Internet was a baby, regulators have had a hard time catching up with everything it can do. Personal data has been collected, stored, shared and sold without many limitations — by everyone from advertisers to hackers.

It’s time for a change.

We’re looking forward to a future where data is protected, kept safe, and used to create better experiences for customers. This type of future requires us all to care about how our data is used. Learn about your data — and help build a more beautiful Internet.