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The Dangers of "You Are What You Buy" Sites

ONLINE PRIVACY

May 24, 2010

Shoppers are sharing everything from how much they paid for lunch to where they're traveling through purchase-based networking sites Blippy and Swipely, prompting privacy advocates to warn such information could be at risk. The Washington Post reports on concerns about divulging "a dangerous level of personal financial information" that could be gold for behavioral advertisers. Blippy users, for example, share details on about $1.5 million worth of transactions every week, the report states, and give the company access to credit, debit and online accounts to create purchase histories and post new transactions to the site. "Blippy already knows what you're doing with every swipe," the report states, "And friends, or strangers, can join your network and watch your money leave your wallet." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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