Not all countries are created equal. People? Maybe. But countries and technology companies are different. Some are good. Some are evil. Jehovah’s Witnesses prosper as peaceful citizens in some countries, but are banned like ISIS in others.
In Germany, courts are cracking down on FaceBook and WhatsApp for collecting and using personal data; specifically user telephone numbers and other data. Facebook, like Amazon and Google and others, use that culled data to target advertisers at users. One day, harvesting such user data may be illegal. I’m OK with that.
Opt In? Opt Out?
Stalking, meet the court system.
Facebook was ordered to stop the harvesting, appealed the courts decision, then lost on appeal. Expect more appeals.
It isn’t easy, but I’ve begun a systematic review of the apps I use and the websites I visit because I no longer want to be a part of the user harvesting process. Google does it. Facebook does it. Amazon does it. And they’re not the only ones.
Apple also harvests some data but also assures customers that the data is anonymized, not traceable, and not used for targeted advertising. For now, I believe Apple, but I cannot trust Amazon, Facebook, or Google with my personal information.
Here’s the deal. Wherever you go online you’re being tracked by someone. Google, advertisers, Facebook, Amazon and many others. Your IP address is captured, so over time, these harvesters know where you live and by mixing and matching data they know who lives in the household, which means they likely know exactly who you are, your age, your employment, how much you spend online, and what credit cards you have.
That’s too much information for someone else to have without me having the option to opt out. Where are those options?
They’re not easy to find. Google doesn’t want you to use DuckDuckGo because you’re not being tracked. But search for products on Google or Amazon or many other websites, and over the next few weeks you’ll see advertising for those products. You’re being stalked, tracked, and others are enriching themselves off your private and personal information whether you like it or not.
In the U.S., there’s a decidedly right-shift in politics which means tracking entities have no worries. For awhile. The pendulum shifts every few years and the more that people know they’re being tracked for the gain of others, the more concerned they may become about rules that protect the trackers more than the tracked.
Last year Mac360 stopped all tracking. Our ads are track free but fully relevant for Apple’s customers and our readers; as it should be. We don’t use an analytics tracker, Google AdSense or Analytics, or even cookies. We’re about as tracker free as we can get. We hope you appreciate that. Google, Facebook, Amazon and other advertisers do not.
All it would take to circumvent this as a political issue is a single option. Opt in. Or, opt out. If you opt in, you get tracked by anyone. If you opt out, you cannot be tracked by anyone.