The Mercury News reports that Facebook is tracking a user through cookies and selling the information, even after the user has canceled his or her account. CNN reports that mobile phone companies are also tracking each user and selling the information to the highest bidder. Some of the user data on Facebook and through mobile phones being sold include location, surfing activity and videos being watched. That’s why some majority of mobile users have good VPNs installed on their phones. Source: Best VPN for Canadians
As a Facebook and mobile phone user, I find neither of these reports surprising and in fact, I have thought companies were doing this all along. I basically expect all of my information to be sold to other companies and shared across the Internet; it has just become the normal thing these days. At first, when I signed up for Facebook I was very trusting and gave out a lot of my personal information and then over the years, more reports were coming out about privacy concerns. I then limited my information on Facebook so that only friends and family could see what I was writing or what I said, but I still was very worried about privacy concerns. Even if I chose not to share any personal information whatsoever, I knew that I probably was being tracked by cookies and I did not like this at all.
As for my mobile phone, I knew that a lot of my personal information was being shared here as well and sold to anyone willing to pay for it. The only aspect of this I am really worried about is location tracking, because I do not want companies to know where I live based on data being collected and sold. There is not a lot I can do about this, however, since everything is tracked by satellites and cell phone towers, so I guess I have just come to live with this as a fact of life.
Over the years, I have changed a lot about how I present myself online based on a company choosing to sell my information to the highest bidder. I often use a fake name, fake phone number and fake address when I can get away with it, especially for a website I do not use very often. It is really sad that I have to resort to using fake information just so that I do not get spam in my email inbox or calls on my home phone. I just look at what is going on with Internet privacy and accept that it is what it is, but I will not give my personal information out unless I have to and I know I can trust the website or company.