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RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever 78

itwbennett writes "Privacy blogger Dan Tynan opted out of data aggregator RapLeaf back in 2010 — and wrote about it. At the time, opting out seemed to work well enough. But fast forward a couple of years and ... they're baaaack. While testing a privacy service called Safe Shepherd, Tynan discovered that 'not only [is he] not opted out of RapLeaf's database, they've also gathered far more information about [him] than they had before.' And it's a pretty good bet some of the data came from Facebook apps, which is a practice that the company was slapped for in 2010 and claimed to no longer do."
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RapLeaf Is Back and Bad As Ever

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  • Cookie based opt-out (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11, 2013 @01:46PM (#43424443)

    Opt-out policy

    This company provides a cookie based opt-out. An "opt-out cookie" is set by the browser. This provides a request that ads should not be customized through your web browsing activities and preferences. You will continue to receive ads but this company will not use this information to select behavioral ads you see online. You must opt-out again if cookies are deleted and required for each browser type and new computer. Third party cookies must be accepted for opt-out to work.

    So, if you wipe your cookies, you "opt back in".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:08PM (#43424707)
    There are Firefox add-ons (and probably Chromium equivalents) that automatically give you opt-out cookies, and make sure they won't be deleted. Beef Taco comes to mind.
  • by ben_shepherd ( 2894353 ) <ben@@@safeshepherd...com> on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:22PM (#43424887)
    Hey guys, I'm Ben, a developer at Safe Shepherd. Data brokers and people search sites like Rapleaf have a bad habit of blocking or flat out ignoring opt out requests. Recently we implement a system of verified removals whereby we check whether the opted out record actually still appears on the data broker's website. This allows us to identify whether they're being generally honest and whether another opt-out needs to be sent on a case-by-case basis. I set up the verified removals to run as a daily cron task, so we can identify whether records re-appear even after they've been removed (yes, data brokers do this). Also fwiw we've written up some manual opt-out guides for all the major data brokers and people search sites in case you want to do the removals yourself rather than through our service: http://blog.safeshepherd.com/how-to-block/ [safeshepherd.com]
  • by ben_shepherd ( 2894353 ) <ben@@@safeshepherd...com> on Thursday April 11, 2013 @02:34PM (#43425065)
    There are two types of ways to opt out of Rapleaf that should be distinguished here. The more robust way (assuming they respect it) is to go through their "permanent opt-out" form (http://www.rapleaf.com/opt-out/), which removes you from their database. What the cookie opt-out does is disable their third party tracking of you as you browse the web. If you're interested in removing yourself from all of the major data broker and people search sites check out our manual opt out guides: http://blog.safeshepherd.com/how-to-block/ [safeshepherd.com] . Or better yet, give our service a try.. guarantee you it will save you a lot of time and worry if you care about these sites selling your personal information.

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