How Sites Secretly Collect Your Data

privacyHello Digital Mavens! Have you ever wondered how social media sites seem to know so much about you, what you like, and what you like to search? I found the scoop on some sites and how they gather data about your overall online activities. Social media tools like Google+,  Facebook and LinkedIn collect a lot of data about you that they will and have use to share with advertising companies and use for surveys and overall data collection.

Well I found a great blogger name Elleen Brown would found out ways where you can stop social media from using you. So get ready to go behind the scenes on how social meida sites use data from your computer and mobile device.

They use to share with advertisers to deluge you more targeted ads. It’s not hopeless. Here are things you can do to stop it. Here’s what is going on behind the scenes every time you use a social media site from your computer or your mobile device.

Lets take a look at Twitter: “Twitter gathers data from the all interactions you have on Twitter, the information you provide when you registered for a Twitter account and its relationships with its ad partners.

When you follow someone, send a tweet, search or interact with users and tweets, the data is used to tailor Twitter Ads. If you search for a specific term, promoted content related to that topic could appear in your feed. Your profile information, location or mobile device location could be used to show you local ads.

Twitter also receives information from its ad partners. This could be browser cookies and email hashes. This means if you have signed up for email newsletters you might see an ad from the brand where you signed up.

If you do not like this feature you can turn it off by using the Do Not Track Feature in your browser. Alternatively uncheck the box that says “Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners” in your Twitter security settings.”

Also lets take a look at Google+:  “Google+, as part of the Google software offering, gathers information about you through web and image searches, searches for blogs and news articles. It also watches which websites you have visited through web analytics and the search results you click.

Many users of Google+ have a Gmail account. Google reads every email sent and received to Gmail. Google also has direct access to every tweet sent and received. If you use Google docs either at work or for personal use, then Google will collect data about usage.

Google also monitors your email contact list and works out the connections between your contacts to show you suggestions of people you might like to add to your Google+ circles.

If you have completed your public profile, then Google also uses this information. If you have clicked on an ad then Google knows which keywords are popular and which ads attract the most clicks. Google even knows which parts of the world you are most interested in if you use Google Earth. All of this data feeds back into its massive data bank.

If you are unhappy about the information that Google is collecting you can configure privacy settings in your Google dashboard. You can check your Gmail stats, have a look at your credit card information, and your web browsing and search queries by date. Another way to stop Google using your data is to stop using any of its products.”

Ellen Brown brings up to good suggestions on how to search and know what sites are actually do with your data to learn more visit her blog here. This is such a sensitive topic and it really concerns me how we as consumers of the social media sites are always being taken advantage of. Its like someone peering over your shoulder, and looking at all your personal information in a matter of seconds. Without filling a single form, your information is in great detail and companies use it to their leisure. So digital mavens, make sure you read your terms of use and agreements. Until next time, i’ll continue to be on the look out for more interesting stories and information.

References:

Eileen Brown  “Six Clicks: How sites secretly collect your data” June 18, 2014. http://www.zdnet.com/six-clicks-how-sites-secretly-collect-your-data-and-how-to-stop-it_p3-7000030523/#photo

Yun, Jessica. “Data from social media sites” Blogger Today. June 1. 2014. http://www.bloggertoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/30/socialmedia/117930e8

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4 thoughts on “How Sites Secretly Collect Your Data

  1. I am not sure how i feel about sites using my personal data or following my internet presence. But I guess that comes with the territory of using the internet. There is data collection and usage for anything that can be measured. It is funny how my activity generates certain ads tailored to me. From an advertising stand point, that could be effective.

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  2. I really appreciate you giving us not only the update on how sites collect and use our information, but also a portal to learning which sites collect our information.

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  3. Thank you for the update. I am always interested in whether or not I could trick people into thinking I am someone I am not…like what if I just got ads for mens suits all the time?

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  4. I do not understand why people seem to be so worried about their privacy rights when they share personal opinions, perspectives and private stories of their lives on social networks accessible by almost every one. Moreover, in the case of Twitter is well known that the Congress Library is collecting every single tweet since the beginning of this platform. So, if you are digitally present over the Web, be sure that the secret services know everything about you.

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