Do I have a choice about how information about me is used or shared?
The website may offer you a choice about whether or not you want information collected about you to be shared with others, or to be used in certain ways. Of course, a company will always use certain pieces of information to complete its transaction with you - for example, it will use your credit card number to charge your purchase, and it will use your mailing address to send you an item.
However, the website may wish to use your information to send you offers for other products or services, or it may wish to share your information with other organizations or companies. In these cases, it is important to look to see whether the site gives you a choice about whether or not they may use the information in these ways.
How can I make the choice?
Websites may allow you to make the choice about whether or not you want your information shared. There are several ways that a site may make it possible for you to make that choice.
- Most sites will provide a "click box" at the point where the choice is offered. If the site provides opt-out, the box will be pre-checked to say that you consent to the sharing of your information.
- To opt out, you must click on the box to "un-check" it.
- If the site provides for an opt-in, the box will not be pre-checked, and you will only consent to the sharing of your information if you check the box yourself.
- Some sites may make it possible for you to exercise choice by calling a toll-free number.
- A voice menu should guide you through the choice process. In some cases, you may need to write directly to the company to exercise your choice.