Companies should notify a customer who they intend to send personal information to. For instance, when you complete a transaction with an online travel company, when you submit payment (or at the terms and conditions page, or wherever in the payment path) they should clearly state:
Your personal information will be shared with
– A global booking engine (your airline ticket)
– The hotel
– The car rental company
As part of the booking process.
0 I understand and agree to having my information shared
0 I do not agree and wish to abandon this
And so on. No company should be able to pass on your personal information without your specific permission. If companies want to sell you out to partners or as part of a mailing list (as Performance Bike did to me), you should be able to opt-out of those, or at least be able to decline the transaction at that point:
Your order information will be shared with
– UPS (shipping)
– Mailomatic Scummasters (junk email)
0 I agree
0 I do not agree
There could be reasonable standards on presentation: readable type, and so on. For real-space transactions, retailers should have to ask your permission specifically for each place they want to pass your info on to.
If you do not specifically consent to information distribution, it would be forbidden (so, for instance, UPS couldn’t sell your information to Mailomatic Scummasters).
Companies that violate this by sending your information where it’s not supposed to go should not only have to pay massive crippling fines, but pay *you*.
This is a case where the interests of the public and of corporations are directly opposed, and the people should win. The use of personal data for profit without disclosure is a deceptive business practice and where government regulation is both justified and beneficial.