It's more and more difficult to be at least somewhat private

How are you dealing with the obstacles on your privacy journey?
Namely:

  • “Your transaction does not match your payment information” - Online shops in general while paying with Revolut for example
  • “This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location” - When you want to order something bigger than a box of matches to the Amazon locker.
  • “Add a real phone number/email” - When using SimpleLogin/AnonAddy or Hushed/MySudo

I considered go to live under the rock, but that’s not really an option :slight_smile: I don’t see so many alternatives. For the emails I can make a new Gmail or Outlook, but I really don’t want to manage 30 different email accounts just because someone set up stupid “anti-terrorist” rules :man_facepalming:

My threat model is not high. I’m not a politician or public or important figure. Just a person who wants to have a control over my data and the less information I can provide, the better. Especially to online shops and apps.

Thank you.

Yeah, I think this is why a threat model is important. If doing something actually matters to you, you should be able to do it. Privacy be damned, your needs should come first. For reference, I don’t need privacy, but I want privacy. I make sacrifices to help, but I know I could do better. Just do the best you can. It’s not always all or nothing deal.

Here’s how I’d handle these situations:

  1. "Your transaction does not match your payment information” = I personally give the correct details. I’ve had too many issues in the past with transactions, and I can understand the companies need for honesty. Years ago I used to buy, repair, and sell stuff, to get me through my education. I relied on the buyers details to help prevent fraud. So while I don’t like it, I understand this requirement.
  2. “This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location” = I’d advise looking into PO boxes. Yes, they do cost, but are great if you do a lot of online business. Yes, you’ll need to give details to your delivery service, but they almost certainly already have that details. I mean, they do deliver mail to you, right?
  3. “Add a real phone number/email” = Where I live, I can pick up a free SIM card online. Or I can spend 10 bucks in a supermarket, and get a PAYG one, with 10 bucks worth of credit. I can use this for as long as I need it, with none of my information given out. Though, before I even go buy a SIM, I will still try those temp phone number services. I just make sure it’s not used for anything important, or has any of my personal details. After all, these temp services are public. As for email aliasing, I try both Anonaddy, and SimpleLogin, with all of their domains. I pay for AA, and get SL with Proton. Even if a service does not accept one domain, I can usually get through with another. I’ve yet to find it not working.
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This is one reason why I worked on an alias PayPal account. If an online purchase gives me grief with a card, they might just accept PayPal.
IronVest masked cards and Prepaid Visa from Walmart have been verified on PayPal.
It would be difficult but possible to create a one time use or short term use PayPal account in advance.

  1. I tried few time to give correct info, but unfortunately nothing exist outside the north america, so the form doesn’t take the foreign addresses. Usually it’s not so important so I just try to buy somewhere else. But it’s annoying and it happens more and more often.

  2. I don’t know why I didn’t think of a PO Box :man_facepalming: Thank you!

  3. Unfortunately where I live now is not possible to buy a SIM annonymously. I tried Hushed and while it doesn’t work for Amazon for example, it works for TransferWise. Now I want to try MySudo. As for emails - I pay for SimpleLogin and I have a custom domain as well, but it’s my surname, so I use it only for important services (insurance, etc). But I’ve already encountered that the email was blocked based on the MX records so even my custom domain did not work.

Btw, I checked the prices for P.O. Box … it’s effin’ expensive :confused: Especially if you want something bigger for the packages. I found other companies offering the same service (something like UPS), but unfortunately not in my area.