You’re Privacy and the internet: A peek into Big Data Analytics

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Haven’t you always wondered how you get advertisements to buy headphones while using mobile applications just after searching for affordable headphones? Sometimes we feel confused and sometimes we feel freaked out. Are we being stalked?

Technically we are being stalked but not the classical down the alleyway or hacking into your webcam sort of stalking. No, we are being stalked digitally by our search history and cookies.

The Curious Case of Online Privacy

We leave a digital trail of bread crumbs whenever we surf online. The laptop you checked online, the YouTube video you just watched, everything creates a digital trail. This plethora of data, sometimes gigabytes, is used to study your patterns and give you customer-specific advertisements.  Ever heard of big data analytics? It is used to analyze the data that is being produced by an individual and find the pattern that we are following. This is then sold to companies so that they can use it for their need. Is this an infringement into your privacy, well yes? It is an infringement into the privacy of an online user. But we do unknowingly allow them to use it. The privacy and license agreement we agree to without even reading it. Some companies allow the data to be given to third party users. One notable example is Cambridge Analytica.

Is Online Privacy Possible

Yes, online privacy is possible. With online privacy laws the security of the users can be increased. But that will be against the interest of the companies who are trying to extract the money out of you. So they lobby to delay or even make the privacy laws that are established to be weak. So in simple terms, you’ll have to take care of yourself. Now how do you do this? Do the following things.

  1. Use incognito mode while using the web. This prevents cookies from getting embedded into your browser and hence preventing a way to collect data.
  2. Delete cookies that you have in your browser.
  3. Make sure you read the privacy agreement of applications and the permissions you are giving them.
  4. Last but not least avoid clicking on pop-up of advertisements that come in your application.

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