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How Tech Companies are Tracking Users

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Tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon have had a revolutionary impact on the world. They have allowed us to connect, consume, and access information in a way that is unprecedented in human history. Without a doubt, they have profoundly changed the course of history, but this leads us to ask at what cost do these benefits come with?

Facebook and Google are completely free to use and have been since their inception. So how do they become so profitable?  Well, they have turned you into the product. The amount of data collected is quite astounding, and with it, they are capable of building a powerful user profile that is used to market specifically to your preferences. If you’ve ever wondered what they know about you, this is how.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Your location

The majority of tech companies have detailed information on your whereabouts thanks to location tracking. This includes where you live, places you frequent, and the usual routes you take.

Communications

Every time you send a message, make a call online, log into a chatroom service, your messages and the data contained within them are archived in some fashion.

Search history

Google has built an entire profile on you based on your search history, across every single device you’ve owned. Even if you delete your history on one device, that record is kept across multiple devices.

Profile for advertisements

Ever noticed after searching something on the internet, you begin to see ads pertaining to the exact thing you were looking up? Tech companies utilize this data to create incredibly detailed ad profiles, that will ensure you see advertisements that are directly targeted towards your interests.

Financial information

This one is unsettling, as a person’s financial information is extremely sensitive. This data is typically secure, but due to its inherent value, it is a highly desired target for hackers.

Facial recognition data

This technology is quickly becoming the standard in biometric security for your devices, and while some companies ensure this data is never stored, companies like Amazon are already using it to track faces to an incredibly sensitive degree.

Your purchases

Every single purchase you’ve made online is stored by companies and is sold to advertisers, where it used to develop targeted ads.

All of this information has countless uses that could be used for nefarious purposes. Not only does it pose a serious risk to your personal privacy, it can be taken advantage of by shadowy entities like hackers and unscrupulous companies. If you want to take the necessary steps to increase your privacy and safety while online, here is how you do it.

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