In 2021, many internet users are more savvy than ever about what they share or don’t share, but modern life almost requires engaging with social media in one way or another. How is personal data transmitted to these sites and how can it be used against users? To find the answer, Stacker compiled a list of 15 ways data is revealed to social media companies. This includes information from sites such as Electronic Frontier Foundation and Norton, as well as reports from Buzzfeed and more. What this information shows is that everything that is done online, from what you click on to how long a page is on, is valuable to the people who sell that data.
Protecting privacy online is an ongoing challenge, and the goals are constantly evolving as marketers become more adept at avoiding the obvious things that consumers are aware of when visiting sites. This includes going beyond explicit location data, for example, and collecting location fingerprints using items around users instead. This also includes setting up bots that clean up publicly available information to create user profiles as potential customers. Any free service or app used is turned into a profile that can be sold to someone, either directly or through personalized advertising.
Read on to learn about some of the most common methods social media companies use to collect and sell user data to the highest bidder. The only way to completely opt out of this system is to stop using almost anything that relies on the internet, which some people may be successful in doing. But for the rest of us, just being aware of how our data is bought and sold can show us ways to keep that data to ourselves as much as possible. Prevented is warned.
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