Big tech is always trying to get data on you. That is the main way they make money. You are the real product being sold. I think people have become more aware of data collecting. But a lot of people still do not know the extent to which they are being tracked.
The other day someone sent me this news article called “Four hidden ways Big Tech platforms suck up your data”. Most of this was old news but there were some new things in there I had not heard before.
It was a good article so I wanted to share some thoughts on it.
Facebook’s data collecting
I have not used Facebook in a long time so I did not know this. But there seems to be a new tool called “Off-Facebook Activity”. This tool shows the user all the information Facebook has collected on them. Apparently, this surprised a lot of people.
But this is not anything new. If you stay logged into Facebook while browsing the web they can see just about anything you do. This works because a lot of websites have embedded Facebook code running on them. Share buttons, embedded posts, Facebook logins for none facebook sites, and more.
So if you’re logged in then Facebook can follow you around the web and instantly knows what page you’re on.
They might even be able to do this when you’re not logged in by using browser fingerprinting techniques.
I could go on but I already have a list of reasons I dislike Facebook on my “Why I dumped Facebook” post. I encourage you to check it out. There are some disturbing things on that list.
Google’s data collecting
Google is a data company and one of the most used services in the world. Collecting data on a massive scale and selling it to the highest bidder. Remember if the service is free then you are most likely the product.
But the news here to me is this thing called “SensorVault” which stores detailed user location data forever.
The data is so precise that one deputy police chief told EFF that it “shows the whole pattern of life.” The location data is collected by cellphone towers and GPS signals, even when people are not making calls or using Google apps.
I’m going to take an educated guess and say this is achieved with Android phones. We already knew they were using phones to data-mine everything your doing. Now we know they are using it for more than ads and are storing that data forever. But there may be a way we can stop them from getting more. But they will most likely collect your location data anyway.
Amazon’s data collecting
Once again this is mostly old news. We know everything we buy and look at on amazon is stored and AI uses this info to try to sell us more things.
We also know Amazon Alexa is recording everything you do.
The new thing here is how Amazon is spying on its workers. I don’t know. Maybe Amazon has the right to do this if you’re on the clock? But it gives me a creepy feeling.
The end of the private self?
Is it too much to ask for to have privacy in your own home? It seems like surveillance is getting worse and a lot of people don’t care. Or at least they think they don’t care. But I bet you if you pull out a camera and point it to a random person and follow them around they will start to care.