Everyone knows that big-time service websites like Netflix, Google and Amazon track your internet use on their sites so they can tailor your internet experience specifically to you. However, did you know it goes way beyond just those sites? Most sites, even those that you think don’t bother, like Dictionary.com, track users’ internet use with cookies.
Watch this (kind of scary) interview of Lori Andrews, an internet privacy expert and author of the book I Know Who You Are and I Saw What You Did: Social Networks and the Death of Privacy about how your internet usage information can be used against you.
In an editorial for Wired.com, Jason Lanier, author of Who Owns the Future: You Are Not a Gadget, goes a step further, calling out companies who collect internet data while seeking to punish those who participate in illegal copying and downloading. And while it could be argued that the two acts aren’t necessarily related, it’s an interesting read nonetheless.
“It would be unfair to demand that people cease sharing / pirating files when those same people are not paid for their participation in very lucrative network schemes. Ordinary people are relentlessly spied on, and not compensated for information taken from them. While I would like to see everyone eventually pay for music and the like, I would not ask for it until there’s reciprocity.”
For more information, try some of these resources:
Hacking the Future: Privacy, identity, and anonymity on the Web, book in the library
Everyone’s Trying to Track What You Do on the Web: Here’s How to Stop Them, at lifehacker.com
Three Big Privacy Issues of 2013 – And What You Can Do About Them, at readwrite.com
Protect Your Privacy Online, at USA.gov