6 Disturbing Things Companies Do to Collect Your Personal Data
Here’s the thing about free Wi-Fi that you can find in shops or stores: companies are actually offering it just so they will be able to track you while you’re shopping. Allegedly, by connecting to their internet, you are giving them a way to track you and to check what you have seen on your device. Another thing companies can also do is monitor how and where you move because a group of stores that have free Wi-Fi can watch your phone’s pings while it looks for an available network. The scary thing is that many companies have admitted to doing this, like Macy’s, Morrisons and Top Shop.
Cover Your Webcam
You might have seen a picture of Mark Zuckerberg where the webcam of his laptop was covered with tape, and there’s a perfectly good reason for this. A lot of Facebook users have allegedly reported that they saw ads on the site that were modeled after the clothes those users were wearing or something in their background. Even though Facebook never confirmed that they secretly spy on with our own webcams, Zuckerberg’s way of covering his webcam seems a little strange, like he knows more than we do. Also, more companies are using this tactic, and a software is available by Emotional Analytics which detects the expressions people make while watching ads. In fact, at the beginning of 2018, Android officially banned all applications from accessing smartphone cameras in order to record people while they weren’t aware.
In 2017, AccuWeather was accused of using their app to track and sell the locations of their customers. It turned out that the app tracked everything about the user without permission, and that a lot of data was being sold, like a user’s precise location and movements. The app also doesn’t stop tracking when the option of location sharing is turned off. The app sold all this data to advertisers who were able to pinpoint your location and personalize your ads to your exact location.
Monitoring All Phone Calls
In March 2018, Facebook was criticized because it’s app was used to make a record of every single call of a user’s Android phone. After the recent Cambridge Analytica data scandal, people got more careful about their online activities, and a few of them looked for data that Facebook stores about them. They discovered that each and every one of their phone calls were tracked by Facebook and that there was a record of everything, including call times, who was on the other line and how long the phone call lasted. Facebook still claims that they’re doing this solely for the purpose of connecting people.
What About People Who Aren’t Facebook Users?
Almost everyone has Facebook, but in case you are an exception, you should know that you’re also on their radar. Namely, Facebook can allegedly track you even if you don’t have an account by using those tiny “share” and “like” buttons that you see on every single website. It records what you do on the webpage, even if you don’t interact with those buttons and watches your movements and what you are interested in. It looks like there’s no place to hide and companies are watching you everywhere.