Facebook and Google are making a massive amount of money from the most valuable asset- personal information. People should be aware of the associated data privacy secrets to protect themselves from being exploited by these super-companies.
Facebook claims that advertising is necessary to keep Facebook freely accessible to everyone. Consumers provide their most valuable asset to these companies in exchange for services. But, in return, they fail to realize that they are getting services that are flooded by ads compromising personal information.
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These two firms have started considering privacy as the topmost priority. But, there are still a few factors they don’t want to disclose:
They know way more than consumers can imagine
Google knows what individual searches for online and what they prefer. This knowledge transfer happens automatically with every page or ad a consumer clicks. Facebook is the same; the only difference is that it doesn’t have to guess based on the activity. Both Google and Facebook track everything within their platform’s ecosystem, and sometimes even after the consumer leaves the app. Facebook tracks which of the ads are clicked even after leaving their site so that it can serve similar ads post returning.
They make it as difficult as possible.
Both companies have agreed on giving consumers more control over their privacy, and have released updates that are claimed to do that. Facebook has multiple security and privacy settings that are supposedly meant to give consumers control over every aspect of their website experience.
But the truth is, people mostly ignore these changes or settings due to a lack of awareness. That means they are probably using Facebook’s default permission setting to let it scoop up personal data.
Google is similar as it lets users automatically delete their history post 3 to 18month, but navigating through the settings is a challenge. Google and Facebook know how the majority of the users are technologically handicapped; they design it that way. They could make privacy settings easy, but they won’t.
They don’t consider the user’s best interests
Both these two companies are already the two most robust advertising platforms in the world. There is simply zero chance to avoid the conflict of interest between targeting consumers with ads and respecting their privacy. Facebook was initially praised for allowing consumers to delete off-site activity, so it can’t be used for targeted ads. But, the reality is, they’ve started letting advertisers target consumers with ads based on where they’ve previously been.
These privacy issues will always prevail, and no one can take dramatic steps to shut down the Facebook account and stop using Google. But, they need to understand the protection of their personal information is their responsibility. Both companies do offer guides on managing privacy settings; all users should refer to these guides. They can also use incognito mode to prevent Google from keeping track of the search history. Till the time users are unaware and not concerned enough about protecting themselves, giants like Google and Facebook will keep exploiting their privacy.