Data Brokers

I caught a glimpse of a 60 minutes segment that dealt with data brokers, which are people that track our internet history and other personal information in extreme detail to sell to others curious about us.60 Minutes explains that this data has been known to be collected for advertising, which brings to mind those “magical” Facebook ads that seem to know exactly what you have been looking and thinking about. This article makes it seem that this goes a little farther and this information to going to potential employers and the data being collecting isn’t something I expected. They mention products you buy, which I think we all know is tracked, but they somehow track other information such as, medical history, depression, cancer, genetic history, and even sexual orientation. Also, I didn’t realize that companies track your visits and clicks on other websites, Their example is Facebook tracking the and There are many others companies are in a crowd following your internet visits and every move you make on their websites. They also mention mobile devices and apps, Angry Birds and “Brightest Flashlight App” can access your GPS and track your movements, see where you are and your schedule.
Most of us know and understand that our internet traffic and other information can be tracked, but for information to be sold and especially when the information is commonly viewed as “private” like medical history, that seems a little unethical. I don’t quite understand why a company needs to track where you are and which places you commonly go to, it just seems like information that shouldn’t be known without explicitly asking me for that information. Companies, apps, and others need to be more open about what is being shared when you visit their website or use their programs.

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