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Old 10-06-2015, 04:21 PM
 
695 posts, read 595,621 times
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Earlier this week I was surfing using Google, and looking at Holiday Inn Express hotels in various locations for my upcoming trip, simply browsing. I am on a mac, using Chrome, and always incognito mode. A few days have passed, and this afternoon, I received a phone call from an unknown number. I looked it up, and it was the IHG reservation office (IHG is the parent company for Holiday Inns, among other hotels). The call rang a couple times, I don't answer unknown numbers, and no voice mail was left. I blocked the number.

This cannot be a coincidence. The last time I stayed in a Holiday Inn anywhere was more than a year ago. Is there any way for simple browsing on a hotel website to reveal personal information to the extent that a phone number could be obtained?

Last edited by olderandwiser456; 10-06-2015 at 04:35 PM..
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:36 PM
 
40,169 posts, read 41,775,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderandwiser456 View Post
This cannot be a coincidence. The last time I stayed in a Holiday Inn anywhere was more than a year ago. Is there any way for simple browsing on a hotel website to reveal personal information to the extent that a phone number could be obtained?
Certainly, privacy settings on a browser only prevents them from storing information on your computer to ID you. Your IP is usually static, fingerprinting your browser , data is aggregated and shared/sold amongst sites/ad services and tons of other identifying information.

What happened here is some site or service has your phone number that you probably willingly gave to them, they shared it and identifying information with someone else. When you visited one of these sites recently they cross checked it against that data.

Here is another possibility, it doesn't even have to be a site you gave the phone number too. Do you have one of those club cards for your grocery store? Do they request your email address and phone? The site you are visiting may be able identify you as joeshmoe@example.com through one set of data and then obtain your phone number from the grocery chain set.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:34 AM
 
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I always clear cookies so luckily they cant do that with me!!!

Cookies are no good if privacy is on your mind
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Old 10-07-2015, 08:14 AM
 
40,169 posts, read 41,775,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude111 View Post
I always clear cookies so luckily they cant do that with me!!!

Cookies are no good if privacy is on your mind
They can do it with you because there is more than one way to skin a cat. The OP is already doing what you are doing. If you were using a modern browser instead of that relic you would understand what "incognito" mode is. Modern browsers have a special privacy mode. When launched in this mode any cookies, downloaded files or history is erased once you close the browser.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,815 posts, read 13,954,365 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderandwiser456 View Post
This cannot be a coincidence.
It can be, and it is.

Quote:
Is there any way for simple browsing on a hotel website to reveal personal information to the extent that a phone number could be obtained?
Absolutely not.


Quote:
If you were using a modern browser instead of that relic you would understand what "incognito" mode is.
LMAO!!!
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:13 PM
 
40,169 posts, read 41,775,319 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Absolutely not.
Sure they can. You only need enough meta data that was shared or sold amongst sites/services and connect the dots. This is basically what the NSA is/was doing. It's not 100% but if you can connect enough of the dots you can ID someone with almost 100% certainty.

If you have browser fingerprint of 1 in 5 million, the traffic is coming from the same IP and that can be correlated with data from another site/service that has your phone number who else is it going to be?
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Old 10-07-2015, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,894 posts, read 4,414,648 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olderandwiser456 View Post
Earlier this week I was surfing using Google, and looking at Holiday Inn Express hotels in various locations for my upcoming trip, simply browsing. I am on a mac, using Chrome, and always incognito mode. A few days have passed, and this afternoon, I received a phone call from an unknown number. I looked it up, and it was the IHG reservation office (IHG is the parent company for Holiday Inns, among other hotels). The call rang a couple times, I don't answer unknown numbers, and no voice mail was left. I blocked the number.

This cannot be a coincidence. The last time I stayed in a Holiday Inn anywhere was more than a year ago. Is there any way for simple browsing on a hotel website to reveal personal information to the extent that a phone number could be obtained?
I doubt it in this case. Unless you typed in any personal information that you're not telling us, I don't believe this company would be that sophisticated in obtaining information. It was probably just a coincidence.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:45 PM
 
26,158 posts, read 15,733,453 times
Reputation: 17235
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman
They can do it with you because there is more than one way to skin a cat. The OP is already doing what you are doing. If you were using a modern browser instead of that relic you would understand what "incognito" mode is. Modern browsers have a special privacy mode. When launched in this mode any cookies, downloaded files or history is erased once you close the browser.
But that doesnt matter because I DELETE THEM MYSELF when I close my browser (cookies,etc (flash cookies,temp files...)) .... (And if I really wanna make sure NO COOKIES are accepted from a site I put it in my RESTRICTED ZONE (Which doesnt allow jack ))
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Sarasota FL
6,865 posts, read 9,538,404 times
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Advertising age 9/28/15 Google to use peoples email addresses for ad targeting.
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Old 10-08-2015, 07:13 AM
 
695 posts, read 595,621 times
Reputation: 563
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Certainly, privacy settings on a browser only prevents them from storing information on your computer to ID you. Your IP is usually static, fingerprinting your browser , data is aggregated and shared/sold amongst sites/ad services and tons of other identifying information.

What happened here is some site or service has your phone number that you probably willingly gave to them, they shared it and identifying information with someone else. When you visited one of these sites recently they cross checked it against that data.

Here is another possibility, it doesn't even have to be a site you gave the phone number too. Do you have one of those club cards for your grocery store? Do they request your email address and phone? The site you are visiting may be able identify you as joeshmoe@example.com through one set of data and then obtain your phone number from the grocery chain set.
Thanks for posting. No, I don't have any club card for a grocery store. Cross checking databases after data is aggregated is definitely going on out there, as you mentioned. Holiday Inn has my phone # from staying with them in May 2014, but it seems to be a leap from surfing in October 2016 on a Holiday Inn site to an unsolicited call from the IHG reservations center (IHG owns Holiday Inn).
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