Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Companies

What the Internet is Doing with Your Data

By Peggy Dolgenos
Cruzio CEO

June 11, 2019 — Santa Cruz, CA

Cruzio wants to protect your privacy.

We are zealous about our own practices and we want to keep you informed of how other entities on the internet are dealing with you.

We all know that data harvesting practices are widespread, but we can’t know all the details. When businesses are collecting data, they’re not subject to requirements for transparency. In fact, quite the opposite — methods of gathering and selling user data are considered trade secrets and are closely guarded. Private companies often “get away” with gathering more data than the government can.

(By the way, not all internet companies gather and sell your data. Cruzio does not.)

Despite the secrecy, public attention has recently encouraged reporters to dig in to the details. There’s so much to talk about that we’re separating it into several newsletters.

Here’s What We’ve Found, Part 1:

What, exactly, are online companies gathering from us?

A little background, to start. Most apps on your computer, phone, or other device have two purposes: one is the obvious one, the weather app that displays the weather, the social app that lets you see what your friends are doing.

The second purpose every app serves is much less obvious: to gather information incidental to the primary purpose, and sell it. You give the weather app your location. You give the social network your age, gender, and much more.

You might think, that’s not so valuable. What does any one app know? But the data doesn’t stay with that single company.

After gathering information, companies sell their caches to central data brokerages so that data from many different apps is gathered together in one place to form an ever-more-complete picture of you: where you hang out, what you spend, who you know, what you think. Data gatherers even brag that they can tell what stores you enter  — and where you go inside the store.

Continue reading here: https://cruzio.com/2019/06/what-the-internet-is-doing-with-your-data/

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