The Action News Five investigators uncovered five household items that could be collecting and distributing your private information.
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - From your home office printer to your utility meter, the Action News Five investigators uncovered five household items that could be collecting and distributing your private information.
1.) Color Laser Printers:
Documents you print may have yellow tracking dots you cannot see that reveal the printer's serial number and the date and time of printing. Those dots are used to crack down on counterfeiters, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation reports the government can also use those dots to track any document you print.
2.) Coupons printed at home:
According to the author of Brandwashed, coupons are often encoded with your personal information in the bar codes of digital coupons. Information that includes your computer's IP address, when you found the coupon, where you redeemed it, and even the search terms you used to find it.
3.) Loyalty Cards:
Store loyalty cards are great for discounts, but how much are you losing with those savings? A lot of retailers use the cards to collect purchasing data on customers, and it's not just so they can inundate you with coupons. We've learned that same data can be used against you by insurance companies.
4.) Electric Smart Meters:
Electric Smart Meters get mixed reviews depending on who you talk to. The Electronic Frontier Foundation warns utility companies could potentially learn when you go on vacation or even when you run the dishwasher or take a bath. In 2010 the U.S. Department of Energy called for restrictions on sharing that information with third parties. And MLGW says there have been no reports of hacking meters in their pilot program.
Finally there may come a day when your TV can actually watch you. Verizon applied for a patent to do just that. So advertisers could track your behavior, and then target their ads. The patent was rejected, but U.S. legislators filed legislation in June to allow consumers to block that kind of technology in the future.
Bottom line is as technology advances, so do risks to your privacy. That's why consumer watch groups are lobbying for more laws.
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 3:40 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:40:25 GMT
Officials continue to search for the man who beat and robbed a woman during a home invasion in Yazoo City on Monday night. According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front doorMore >>
According to her family, 85-year-old Jeanelle Fratesi answered her front door for a person she thought needed help.
Friday, August 29 2014 3:15 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:15:59 GMT
A power outage has shut down a portion of downtown Jackson. Entergy Mississippi says that crews are on site working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Entergy's website shows that overMore >>
Entergy's website showed that over 400 people were without power in the downtown area on Friday.
Friday, August 29 2014 1:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 17:48:04 GMT
The Canton Public School District says that it is working diligently to contain the spread of scabies at several of its schools. The school district says they have informed parents that their childrenMore >>
The school district says they have informed parents that their children may have recently been exposed.