April 11 2018 – Kevin Yaworski – Public Advocate
I often use incognito mode when web browsing or disable cookies to limit data collection; price increases when searching for flights or products etc…
Even so I just noticed what I searched for in Facebook on my computer followed me to my mobile. Facebook ads appear in my feed related to these searches even with my privacy and ad settings restricted.
Similar happens if I am signed into Google on my PC and use Google search. Google now requires cookies enabled even for logging in. On Android or Apple IOS mobile devices you are always logged into Google or Apple.
Regardless searches saved and used to show local or global trends.
Location history from mobile (cell towers), GPS or Wifi may be enabled on your devices or Google, Apple, Microsoft and other accounts.
Your data maybe tracked in many other places. Some of these include Siri, Alexi, Echo and other voice recognition based search or answer services or products.
For web browsers
Firefox Quantum has really good tracking protection which doubles as an adblocker as well, since most ads track you anyways, it just disables those objects in the
page. Also has the benefit of making pages load much faster.
In most browsers you can review, delete and or disable cookies (3rd party or all). You can also clear history (last hour, day, … or all). Note your preferences for some web sites maybe lost. There is tools like Malwarebytes and others that can scan for known Malware and cookies from known malicious or ad sites etc…
You can clear or disable search, location and other history or activity in at least Facebook and Google.
Is all this permitted and unknown data collection beneficial to society? So far based on recent and past news of incidents it pretty clear even the unintended consequences are quite serious.
See recent posts of mine and here is related posts that are still relevant.
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