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- Posted on
April 25, 2005, 8:46 pm
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Citibank has started forcing customers to allow 3rd parties to track
and collect data on what you are doing when you are using online
banking. Before April, you had a choice to reject this intrusion. The
bank relies on the fact that most customers are not aware of this
tactic and don't know how to limit it by rejecting 3rd-party cookies.
The only cookies that should be required are those from citibank.com -
not some sleazy data-collection outfit. This new requirement started
on XP systems (using Internet Explorer) - soon to spread to all systems
I'm sure. Also, there was no warning that the next day you will not be
able to pay your bills until you allowing this intrusion.
The help-desk is useless. They read from a prepared list of steps to
check your browser settings and that's it. Most don't even seem to
know what a cookie is, let alone 3rd-party cookies. Even fewer know
about data-collection or spyware.
Citibank's privacy statement says that they will share information
about you with other affiliated companies (one of which is a spyware
company called Bridgetrack which they do not mention.). But they have
this information without letting these companies gather it themselves
with their own cookies. Following you around while you are updating
secure financial information online is akin to having such companies
looking over your shoulder at the teller's window in the bank The
line needs to be drawn somewhere. This sort of voyeurism and invasion
of privacy should be illegal.
Let Citibank know that you are aware of what's going on and that you
don't like it. If enough customers who have large deposits complain
and threaten to change banks, maybe this bank will return to the policy
of making such tracking optional like it is at other online banking
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