As I purchased $10 worth of trinkets at the Container Store, the clerk began the transaction by saying, “May I have your phone number?” I replied, “Uh, no.” And that was that; without any objection he rang up the transaction.
One way people can protect their privacy is by saying “no” more often. Companies ask for information, but they often don’t require it.
A couple of years ago, a guard at the White House looked at my driver’s license and told me, “You shouldn’t use your Social Security number as your driver’s license number.” So there’s another tip: ask the DMV to assign you a random number for your license.
None of this, of course, will stop your bank or phone company from giving up your information when the feds ask. But there are steps everyone can take to keep our lives just a little more private.