The world is becoming more lax with its privacy, and it’s coming at the expense of the individual. As more companies are looking for ways to exploit their customers’ information in order to please stockholders, the news out of Palo Alto, California in the middle of March may become more commonplace.
Image source office.microsoft.com
Google announced that it agreed to a seven million dollar settlement after being sued for its Street View mapping project. The unpopular project received a number of complaints saying that the internet giant was in violation of privacy laws. This is not the only time that people have raised suspicion of Google’s motivation to protect privacy.
As with everything else, it comes down to money. Google generates a ton of money from search-ad revenue. In order to maximize search-ad revenue, it has disallowed Ad-Blocker from its Google Play store. Without ad blocker software, third party apps can track pertinent information, like your location, user ids and other valuable information. The world is truly becoming a scarier place.
If you’re in fear of the efforts being made to take away your privacy in the physical and digital worlds, there are ways to make sure you remain anonymous to companies looking at you as a commodity. Here are several ideas to consider:
Read any privacy information of any business you intend to use: There was a South Park episode several years back that had fun with iTunes’s Terms and Conditions Agreement that you would have to agree to every now and then. It was so long that nobody would ever read it, and Trey Parker and Matt Stone showed what could happen if you didn’t read what you agreed to, in delightful and horrifying hilarity. But there is some truth in fiction. If you don’t know what the business is doing with your private information, you might get the shock of your life later on.
Stop any bugs or tracking: While technology has certainly affected our privacy, that doesn’t mean there isn’t technology out there to combat these obvious privacy violations. AdBlockers were mentioned above, but if you think someone is following you or recording your conversations, there are bug detectors out there, which will alert you of any hidden surveillance.
Be very cautious with social media: There have been too many horror stories out there of job applicants who have been burned by what they put on Facebook or Twitter. This was in 2011, but in one survey, ninety percent of recruiters said that they look at applicants’ social media profiles. So if you have a ton of boozy photos back from when you were a freshman in college, you might not get that job offer.
Jake Alexander is an avid blogger who enjoys discussing technology and gadgets. Follow him @JakeAlexander17.