The only way to keep information perfectly private is to stop generating it, which is next to impossible. Peter Eckersley, a director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights advocacy group based in San Francisco, says you would essentially have to live like a criminal. Online, this would mean using ad-blocking programs, routing your internet traffic through proxies or anonymisation software and using pseudonyms whenever you sign up for a new online service. Offline, you would have to pay cash or use prepaid credit cards, and only use prepaid cellphones - the untraceable "burners" most often associated with drug dealers who throw them away after the minutes are up. "Basically the industry has refused to provide a way for people to opt-out of being tracked in any sensible way," he says.
Governments are attempting to protect consumer rights online. Earlier this year the Obama administration unveiled a privacy rights bill. The European Union has begun to enforce a ban on cookies, and Google has promised to put a Do Not Track option into its Chrome browser. However, Eckersley says many of these measures are toothless.
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The latest versions of most browsers now include a 'Do Not Track' option, but there is no obligation for websites to honour this - so it is next to useless. The article mentions some privacy protector companies that are springing up to enable you to regain your privacy.