Who follows your activities while you’re online? Who follows what you do on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, even if you’re not online? Google. Facebook. Amazon. And many hundreds of online advertisers and tracker services.
You cannot escape. If you’re online or use applications, then you’re being tracked, profiled, and manipulated by nefarious forces in technology’s axis of evil.
Wait. You can just quit using Google’s Chrome or other Google apps, right? Delete your Facebook account and don’t use Amazon. You’re safe, right?
All major advertisers have methods in place to follow your whereabouts even without Chrome or Facebook running on your Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
If people really understood what was happening with their data, they would galvanize immediately for other platforms.
Except that hasn’t happened, so it must mean that people don’t know. Alright, what happens if you do know, and you take the time and effort to kick Google, Facebook, and Amazon to the curb.
More tracking. Most popular websites use Google Analytics to track their visitors. Google collects that data, shares some of it with website owners, and uses the rest to do what it does all the time. Track you.
Google, Facebook, Amazon, and other advertising and tracking entities buy and sell and share tracked data. That makes it difficult to avoid their trackers even if you use a VPN and stay away from their applications; Chrome, Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, and others.
Private information has legs. It travels. Think of it as Surveillance Capitalism.
But surveillance capitalism isn’t a totalizing system: consumers do have choices here… there are companies that have even made privacy their distinguishing feature. And consumers respond pretty consistently: I will take free with surveillance over paid with privacy.
As much as you want to avoid being tracked, most people view it as a trade-off, and the trade seems worthwhile.
After more than a decade of abuse, we should look deeper at our analysis and perhaps conclude that these issues aren’t abuse at all, but rather a bargain, a negotiation, and one that people are quite willing to live with.
Tracking goes on behind the scenes in ways that make it difficult to avoid being tracked; and if you’re merely avoiding some of it– as in dumping Google or Facebook– you’re still being tracking enough for both companies to prosper.
We’re damned if we don’t (allow tracking) and damned if we do (allow tracking).