Secret To What Free Services On The Internet Hide Discovered
About What Free Services Signing up for a free service usually means giving third parties access to our information or browsing data
If a service is free it is because the product is you; it is the painful reality against which to crash in a multitude of sectors. When you download a free app, when personal data is transferred in exchange for participating in a juicy raffle or even when you enjoy spending without paying at a disco or for the first free drink. The market is governed by supply and demand, banking always wins, and all of these ‘gifts’ may be more poisoned than Snow White’s apple.
In late January, Facebook flaunted transparency (Cambridge Analytica offered a lot to learn) and launched the ‘activity outside of Facebook’ tool. The name itself gives food for thought, it is a loud confession of something we already knew: the social network also tracks its users outside the platform. Welcome to ‘Big Brother’.
In short, it is the activity that businesses and organizations share with the service on user interactions outside the application: visits to websites, application downloads, donations to NGOs and a long etcetera. Are you clueless with the keys and prefer to log in to third-party sites with Facebook? Hunted, the social network already knows something more about you. If the company you accessed uses the Facebook pixel tool, now Mark Zuckerberg knows you bought that Baby Yoda t-shirt from a merchandising store.
Is this a revelation? Not at all, that the social network monitors its users more or less thoroughly was vox populi. Facebook is a free service that allows you to share kitten memes, news, photos from your last vacation in Rome with relatives and strangers from all over the world and torment all contacts with requests for lives for Candy Crush. In exchange, users ‘kindly’ transfer their data.
What is Facebook doing with this information as a result of the legal ‘stalking’? Advertising and more advertising. The social network gets to know its users so well that it completely personalizes the experience of offering recommendations for products, groups, events, organizations or new brands.
Don’t panic: the social network does not stop trying to regain the trust of users, so it allows access to all of this history and even delete and modify part of it. You also have the option of downloading the complete history or during a time slot, for later review; perfect for the most meticulous.
To access this unauthorized biography from the browser, just press the inverted triangle in the upper right. After selecting ‘settings’, you have to click on ‘your Facebook information’. Different options are shown here; directly download all the history, the activity log within the social network and what concerns us, ‘activity outside Facebook’.
In order to view some of this data, the service claims to re-enter the password, which is logical, since information such as location, logins or search histories are sensitive data. Is this all the social network knows about the habits of its users? No. Facebook, in its particular FAQ, recognizes that this tool “does not show all your activity”.
For example, the summary does not contain the most recent activity, which may take a few days to appear. The dates correspond to when Facebook received the data. In addition, the service explains that it receives more details than those that appear in the activity outside of Facebook. Transparency? They allege that “for technical and precision reasons, they do not show all activity” such as the information they received when they did not log in to Facebook or details such as the item you added to your cart.
Can we escape from social network networks? Yes. If you choose to disconnect the history, the activity shown in the summary and the one not shown will be disconnected. In addition, the service clarifies that “it does not sell the information to anyone” (the profits are obtained through personalized advertising) and that it “prohibits businesses and organizations from sharing confidential information such as financial, health, date of birth and password information”. Minimal relief.
Facebook has not invented penicillin; its business model is not new. Free software (not to be confused with free software, a ‘philosophy’ that has nothing to do with the above) is never entirely free, the payment is your data and / or being exposed to a lot of advertising. This is a typical model of mobile games, its ‘free’ version is full of advertising banners that can be removed by paying.
Problems Everyone Has With What Free Services On The Internet Hide – How To Solved Them
Currently, 60% of daily activity passes through digital instruments. Something that multiplies if you also fall asleep with a sleep monitoring instrument (they have to be captured even the audio of snoring), a cyberpunk delusion.
This information is what is called the “alternative data” industry or alternative data according to its English name. Without going any further, the information collected by companies has proven to be invaluable within the economy. One example is that last year, financial fund managers invested more than $ 1 billion in alternative data collection and analysis structures.
This industry is good, economically, for companies, but bad for the privacy of users. The data collected not only serves to display advertising on demand as is the case with Facebook; Other companies collect the activity and sell it to third parties. According to data from the AlternativeData analyst group, there are currently more than 450 alternative data providers. A number that has quadrupled in the past decade.
It is true that it can be a little terrifying that several companies know our consumption habits, tastes, locations and even health status (heart rate, sleep data), it is something to deal with since technology advances, allowing Obtain increasingly accurate and detailed data, also causing the concept of privacy to be constantly changing.
An example would be the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the political consulting firm that unauthorizedly collected data on 87 million Facebook profiles in an effort to help Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The incident resulted in billions of dollars in fines for Facebook, but it also served as a gigantic wake-up call for Internet users.
Another danger would be negligence in data management and administration. In the last decade there have been many cases of theft of bank data and passwords of users of digital content sales platforms, some as famous as the scandal that affected millions of people registered on the Ashley Madison platform in 2015.
The problem is that the user cannot foresee what companies, hackers or governments are going to do with their data. There are many open flanks, many interested in knowing every little detail of daily life, each purchase and each one I like. For now, the only way to protect yourself is to review privacy policies, read terms and conditions, unlink histories in services that allow it, use third-party tools that limit tracking, or literally disconnect from the Internet. Formerly we were what we had, now we are what we share.