OOPS. Your Social Security Number is printed on your checks. Someone could steal your identity. Better check your records: 800/772-1213 (www.ssa.gov).
Tired of this yet? Start over: Get married and change your name. Watch out for the license; it will get you on more lists. So will the passport you need for that overseas honeymoon.
Visit a privacy-friendly country. Watch out: Austria’s Freedom Party wants to issue foreigners an “Austria-Card” with photo, fingerprints, personal info. More info online at
Back home, you buy a new house. You fill out a permanent—instead of temporary—change of address card to let everyone know.
OOPS. The U.S. Postal Service makes big bucks by selling names. To exit the National Change of Address System, call the National Customer Support Center, 800/238-3150.
Buying a new car? Check your credit record: Trans Union (
). Repeat every 3 years. Or every year if you find a mistake.
Applying for a new job? You could be rejected based on medical history. Verify your records: Medical Information Bureau (
). Repeat in 3 years.
Want to keep certain medical procedures out of your records? Pay cash. Tell your doctor not to share your records without your permission.
The average person is on 200 databases; PrivacyScan charges $29 to search 1,600 for info about you. Also download a form to check your FBI file (www.privacyscan.com).
Tired of being alone on the privacy road? Rat on a mob boss and join the Witness Protection Program.
Or take a tip from Diogenes, an ancient dropout who lived in a bathtub and spent his days searching with a lantern for an honest face: The quickest road to invisible is to get rid of everything anyone else would want.
O.K., you’re totally anonymous now. You’ve lost your friends, health insurance, citizenship, and maybe your identity. Wouldn’t it be better to campaign for a Constitutional privacy amendment?
You mean, take part in the political process? Go back to square one!