Can we be 100% sure that the information we are updating online or a picture present in our social media accounts cannot be misused or traded for money? Well in this blog, we will be clarifying some of these questions after obtaining facts from our analysis on this matter. But first, let us enlighten you about the amount of data that is uploaded on the internet on daily basis and how it can be manipulated and misused for personal benefits.
When a person updates his/her personal information on the internet, this information can be as small as your name, email ID, and phone number, this data can be circulated to many parties in exchange of money. Why do you think some websites provide you their services in exchange for a little information free of cost? Or have you ever wondered how your inbox, both email and message, is filled with automated texts and emails from a company you never even associated with? On the other hand, how some applications keep a track of your browsing history and even microphones and use them to show appropriate advertisements? No, that’s not magic! You will be surprised to know that according to Google, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created on the internet on a daily basis and this number is most likely to increase each passing day!
When you see advertisements on your screen without any knowledge of searching about it, you have been virtually auctioned and, in their defence, these companies debate that they do not sell any personal information that will threaten a person’s identity. There are several “broker” websites on the internet that will attract you with some type of a quiz like know your soulmate or about your past life, ask you typical questions along with some sneaky personal ones, and sell this data to other, and the worst part is, it is a multi-million-dollar industry, hence, more and more people are engaging in it on a regular basis.
On this note, Apple Inc. is working against this violation of privacy by introducing an “opt-in” consent feature through which the users can allow or deny other applications to track their data. This was a huge and first step taken on such a large scale that made a lot of controversies, even Facebook commented that this step can hit many small businesses who are using advertisements as a medium to spread awareness about their business. Recently, even Facebook was accused of breaching the private data of hundreds of users and in their defence, it said that they are “co-operating fully” and it was done so that the people can connect with each other on their platform more effectively. This is a cause of concern because the data of 533 million people from 106 different countries was published by a hacking team and this data was scraped from Facebook earlier.
As a user, obviously there is so way in which you can completely get rid of them as it might be already too late and the advertisement industry has become smarter, although you can resist yourself from giving out the information yourself through a lead form, unsubscribe your number and email ID from all the unnecessary promotional emails and messages, browse the internet on private or incognito mode, ask applications not to track your location and photos by changing your mobile settings, sharing details on social media platforms that are only necessary instead of filling your hobbies and interests, etc.