The very juicy business of personal data
The very juicy business of personal data
On the internet, the personal data that users give away for free is turned into a valuable product. Even seemingly innocuous activities, like staying home and watching a movie, generate mountains of information, treasures to be retrieved later by companies of all kinds. Personal data is often compared to oil it powers today’s most profitable companies, just as fossil fuels powered those of the past. But the consumers who are extracted from them often know little about how much information is collected, who can access it, and what it’s worth. Every day, hundreds of companies you don’t even know list information about you, some more intimate than others.
This information can then be passed on to university researchers, hackers, law enforcement, and others’s order and to foreign countries, as well as to other countries’This information can then be passed on to companies that are trying to sell you products.
Qu’what constitutes personal data ?
The Internet may seem like a privacy nightmare, but don’t throw your smartphone out the window just yet’now. Personal data is a pretty vague umbrella term, and it’s helpful to understand exactly what that means. Medical records, social security numbers and bank details are the most sensitive information stored online.
Social media posts, location data and search engine queries can also be revealing, but are usually monetized in ways that don’t, for example, include your credit card number. All of this information is collected on a broad spectrum of consent: sometimes the data is knowingly forked over, while in other cases it is not’In other scenarios, users may not understand that’they give up anything. Often, it’s clear that something is being collected, but the details are hidden in hard-to-analyze terms of service contracts.
Who is buying, selling and securing my personal data ?
The trade-off between the data you give and the services you get may be worth it, but another breed of company is accumulating, analyzing and selling your information without giving you anything: data brokers. These companies compile information from publicly available sources, such as property records, marriage licenses and lawsuits. They can also collect your medical records, browsing history, social media logins and online purchases. Depending on where you live, data brokers might even buy your information from the Department of Motor Vehicles.
You n’don’t have a driver’s license ? Retail stores also sell information to data brokers.
Information collected by data brokers may be inaccurate or outdated. Nevertheless, it can be extremely valuable to businesses, marketers, investors and individuals. Data brokers are also valuable resources for abusers and stalkers. The practice of publicly disclosing the personal information of’The ability to collect data from a person without their consent is often made possible by data brokers. Although you can delete your Facebook account relatively easily, it is tedious, complicated and sometimes impossible to get these companies to delete this information.
In fact, the process is so tedious that you can pay a service to do it on your behalf.
The good news is that the information you share online contributes to the world’s stock of useful knowledge: researchers from all over the world have been working on this for years’a number of academic disciplines are studying social networking posts and other information about you’other user-generated data to learn more about the’humanity. Personal data is also used by artificial intelligence researchers to train their automated programs.
L’future of personal data collection
Personal information is currently collected mainly on screens when users use computers and smartphones. The coming years will bring the’Widespread adoption of new data-hungry devices, such as smart speakers, censor-integrated wearables and wearable health monitors. Even those that are not in the same mode’abstain from’In the future, the data from these devices will be collected, for example, by installing surveillance cameras with facial recognition on street corners. In many ways, this future has already begun.