The right of privacy protects the ability of individuals to determine what information about them is collected and how that information is used. Most commercial websites utilize “cookies” as well as forms to collect information from visitors, such as names, addresses, e-mail addresses, demographic info, Social Security numbers, IP addresses and financial information. In most cases, the information is then given to third parties for marketing purposes. Other entities, such as the federal government or financial institutions, will collect personal information as well. The threats of fraud and identity theft formed by this collection of personal information have been an impetus for right-of-privacy legislation requiring disclosure of information-collection practices, opt-out opportunities and internal protections of collected information.
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