Online tracking of web activities and other things has always been a creepy thing to users. Over time Internet users have been letting many technology companies track their moves on the web because many of the products and features that these companies provide have become a mainstay in many people’s lives. We share more data willingly than ever before. We don’t read terms and conditions and we ignore privacy policies because seriously, who has the time waste time on this crap when all we want is to be social, meet new people, read news and buy stuff online. This carelessness has been the primary flaw in our usage of the web.
In the light of the PRISM revelations some weeks before, all of this stuff has suddenly become important to many. If the US government [and now the Indian Government!] has been snooping into this treasure trove of data, then a lot of our privacy has been severely violated. Many people have a default response to potential Government tracking saying that they have nothing to hide. Being private about your data is not about hiding your wrongdoings. It has more to do with the amount of data you generate and how a third party could easily profile you and get its hands on all your personal information. If the scale and size of Government intrusion disclosed by Snowden holds true, then one can understand how easy it is for the Government to get hold of any information or personal detail. Technology companies have been collecting information in name of user preference and personalization. We believed this data they collected would help them monetize their massively free offerings. Maybe that is the case, but once all this data is accessible to the Government, those are the signs of a surveillance state. This case is especially very complicated in India because there is a good possibility that our data hosted on US servers of popular tech companies like Yahoo, Google and Facebook may actually be accessible to the US Government.
Now what is done is done and the first step towards protecting your data is to actually understand how Tech majors are collecting your data. The guys over at Baynote have an excellent infographic which explains the online tracking by most popular companies.
Take a look at it below.
Source | Baynote
Via | VentureBeat
Image Courtesy | Ubergizmo