Wednesday, May 18, 2016


By Jim Heffernan

Many of the bills I get in the mail include a sheet describing what the company does with the personal information gathered over the life of our business association.

Some people are uncomfortable with the sharing of personal information accumulated by businesses and other organizations. My own reaction is not so much discomfort as resignation. What can you do about it? Not much.

Most of these notices are lengthy and describe in detail why they share, what they share and with whom this information is shared.

Here is an example of such a disclosure sheet:

Dear Valued Customer,

All financial companies need to share customers’ personal information for the purpose of making oodles of money. We protect this information to the extent that it is available only to parties whose vital interests depend on such information or anyone who wants it, whichever comes first.

We limit personal information sharing to clients’ home addresses, e-mail addresses, Social Security numbers, height, weight, color of hair and eyes, shoe size, bathing habits, TV watching preferences, religious affiliations, educational attainment, dining proclivities, vehicle preferences (car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, ATV, tractor, skateboard), and any and all other information we choose, including blood pressure, exercise habits, bank account numbers and investment accounts, not to exclude credit history, pets and voting record.

Organizations receiving information on you may include, but are not limited to, the MAFIA, ISIS, IRS, NAFTA, FBI, CIA, DPW, MNDOT, COPS, ROBBERS, ADT, HOTLCOG, NEMDA, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, CSPAN DNT, AARP, DDT & NRA, among others.

You have the right to challenge sharing of your personal information by contacting us between the hours of midnight and 3 a.m. at South Florida Cellar Enterprises, atten. “Blackie”, at 1-912-GO-PUNT. A telephone fee of $1 per word applies. Mail inquiries to: Afghanistan Banana Man, 314 Taliban Way, Kabul, 90210 and include your mother’s maiden name.