COMPROMISED?: Pandora, Walgreens, Citibank, Target, JPMorgan Chase

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Walgreens apology

In news that will make you want to unsubscribe from all of those pesky marketing e-mails you delete without reading and rethink the apps you download on your "smart" phones ... news that could explain why, all of a sudden, we're getting a shit-ton of spam lately:

Security experts said Monday that millions of people were at increased risk of e-mail swindles after a giant security breach at an online marketing firm.

The breach exposed the names and e-mail addresses of customers of some of the nation’s largest companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Target and Walgreens.

While the number of people affected is unknown, security experts say that based on the businesses involved, the breach may be among the largest ever. And it could lead to a surge in phishing attacks — e-mails that purport to be from a legitimate business but are intended to steal information like account numbers or passwords.

“It is clearly a massive hemorrhage,” said Michael Kleeman, a network security expert at the University of California, San Diego.

Read more from The New York Times.

And then ...

A grand jury sought information from Pandora Media Inc. about how the company's mobile application uses personal data, part of an apparent federal investigation into smart-phone privacy.

The Oakland Internet radio company disclosed the request Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission made in advance of Pandora's planned initial public offering.

"In early 2011, we were served with a subpoena to produce documents in connection with a federal grand jury, which we believe was convened to investigate the information sharing processes of certain popular applications that run on the Apple and Android mobile platforms," the company said.

It added that it is not a specific target of the investigation and that similar subpoenas were probably issued "on an industrywide basis" to other developers of smart-phone apps.

Read more from The San Francisco Chronicle.

So, with all of this in mind, I'm continuing my efforts to unsubscribe from most of the asinine e-mail lists I receive. And, let me tell you, you need to read the screens carefully — sometimes you may think you're unsubscribing when you're actually reaffirming your subscription. Also, some of these marketing companies make it damn-near impossible to figure out how to unsubscribe, though the link to do so is usually hidden at the bottom of such e-mails.

I don't know about you, but I get plenty of e-mails (direct messages, texts, calls, etc., etc.) as it is, so I won't be subscribing to any more ... I don't care what kind of discount companies are offering or how hard they try to obtain my contact information while I attempt to check out at their stores.

Furthermore, if you like, when unsubscribing from all of this marketing propaganda nonsense, feel free to join me in a giant FUCK YOU! when the companies ask why you're asking to be unsubscribed. (Actually, I don't give them a reason; it's none of their damned business.)

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