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(From AFX Europe (Focus))
NEW YORK (AFX) -
If you don't like what your favorite Internet search engine or e-commerce site does with information it collects about you, your options are limited to living with it or logging off.
Major search engines, for instance, all keep records of your searches for weeks, months or even years, often tied to your computer's Internet address or more. Retailers, meanwhile, generally presume the right to send marketing e-mails.
Although online companies have become better at disclosing data practices, privacy advocates say the services' stated policies generally don't give consumers real choice.
"None of them have gotten to the point of giving a lot of controls in users' hands," said Ari Schwartz, deputy director of the technology watchdog group Center for Democracy and Technology. Privacy policies "are about notice ... not about control."
Recent developments …