Ad blocker that plays both sides

Millions of people use the tool Ghostery to block online tracking technology—some may not realize that it feeds data to the ad industry.

Source: A Popular Ad Blocker Also Helps the Ad Industry | MIT Technology Review

This plugin shows what sites are tracking you as you are on the web. This is interesting. It is possible to block advertisers with this tool as well, but it isn’t clear that you aren’t blocking all advertising types. With this tool and AdBlocker you really have significant privacy on the web.

The downside of this tool is that it sells your information but it does ask for your permission and you can choose not to share if you don’t want to. I understand they need to make a living, and they are honest about it. So to me, this is acceptable if you do something and know the risks.

What is interesting about this software is the way they are letting people know about it. My friend went to the NY Comic Con this weekend and they had a booth and were giving away a little ghost to visitors. I guess the Comic Con demographic are key decision makers. Isn’t it funny how anything that makes money is socially acceptable now?

Would this help the average person? I think it would. It would show what information is known about them and where they go isn’t as private as they think. People may not understand how much they are tracked and this makes it real. What would be even better is if the biggest offenders of stealing information could have some accountability and pay people for the money they have made off of them. I don’t mind that other people make money as long as they do it in a way that doesn’t hurt anyone. Privacy is a real hurt especially for those who are economically unstable. Privacy helps those who are doing illegal things, but it helps more those who are honest.

Verizon customer service doesn’t have your best interests at heart

I called Verizon customer service to get more data on my iPhone since I was moving and needed more data. I spoke to a customer service person who suggested that instead of getting 1 GB of data for $10 it would be a better value to get 3 GB of data for $20. Great, even better. So I agree to that and a few days later I find myself needing more data.

I look into my online webpage that shows how data is used and I explore the different plans that are available to me. Turns out there is a plan that has far more data and even cheaper. For almost twice the amount of data I pay $40 less than the plan I was on! That customer service person had to see and know about that plan but instead of telling me about it, suggested a more expensive option.

I understand it is the salespersons job to sell, but it is also customer service and I should have been told the option at the start. Now I have learned not to call customer service to change your plan but instead investigate all the plans available and then make your choice on the webpage. Companies often say how “customer focused” their customer service is, but it is clear it is just window dressing as a way to charge the average joe more money. Now I have to find a better option than Verizon. Any suggestions?