Free dissemination of your personal info is data prostitution

By Jeff Graber

How much personal details of yours are online? You obviously have profiles on social networks like Facebook, accounts on email services like Google Mail and platforms like YouTube which is also owned by Google and you have subscriptions for Apple services and different kinds of memberships of products and services offered through the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook.

 Have you ever wondered what happens to all those personal details that you keep furnishing time and again to these sites, to their sister sites, to the third party sites which you authorize to collect your information from the profiles when you use those apps or features of those sites? 

There are article directories that collect your social network or Facebook profile information, Apple IDs or Google Mail account details just to let you read the content on one page. You may not be visiting that site again ever in your life. It was just one page that you wished to explore. Then there are games, funny apps, viral contents and plethora of videos that you absolutely cannot miss out on.

 All these personal details that you provide and all data associated with your online profiles are sold to innumerable companies. This is done by Facebook, Apple and Google among many others. You are offering all your details, possibly your entire life and existence in the form of raw data free of charge to these companies which are indulging in data prostitution and raking in millions. These companies have made billions by now since data prostitution is not a onetime exercise but an ongoing business practice.

 What ids you use, where you live, where you work or study, what you do in your pastime, who your friends are, what are your browsing patterns, what kind of products and services you look for or buy online, what channels you watch or what kind of ads attract you and you click on them and much more forms the data that is disseminated by these apparent do-gooders like Apple, Facebook and Google.

 By allowing this data prostitution, you are actually giving away your personal details and precious information free of charge when you can actually sell your own data and capitalize on it. Granted, you won't get much.

 Maybe a little self-worth?

(This article is courtesy of The Mac Support Store, Brooklyn’s first Apple repair shop.)