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Big tech companies earn from your data

Big tech companies

Big tech companies continue to routinely collect a mountain of your data. As one might expect, they also make a lot of money off of it.

Given that gathering data appears to be commonplace, you might as well benefit from it. If you had the option, would you feel fine cashing in on the private information about you and your family?

That was one of the many inquiries over 1,600 people in the United States received from the research business Exploding Topics. And, surprise!, almost half of those who answered said they would.

A legitimate method of making money off of your data

Analysts from Exploding Topics polled 1,617 US-based internet users on topics like data privacy, content ownership, and the responsibility of large digital firms as part of a larger study.

The idea that people are willing to buy and sell their own data is probably the most intriguing discovery.

An astonishing 47.9% of respondents claimed they would consider selling their data for financial gain, while knowing that these companies make a significant profit by providing users’ personal data to third parties for commercial purposes.

The remaining 50% are divided as follows: 26.5% would not sell their personal information for profit, while 25.6% are undecided.

When asked if consumers should automatically earn a part of the profit if a corporation sells their data, the reaction was even more resoundingly in favour of giving users a cut. Seventy-plus percent of respondents in this section thought it was a reasonable deal.

Information does Big Tech companies collect?

The big tech companies aren’t likely to adopt this technique any time soon, but you may at least be more selective about who you share information with. Towards this end, it is crucial to have a detailed understanding of the kinds of user information that these organizations collect and store.

The vast majority of a company’s user data comes straight from the users themselves. These can be everything from a person’s full name and address to their phone number, email address, payment information, username, password, and the contents of any and all emails sent or received by that person.

Another group of information can be classified as unique identifiers for the device you use to access the internet. The Internet Protocol address, the type of device and/or browser used, the URLs visited, and other system activity data are all examples.

Then there’s the granular data about users’ actions that was gathered. All of their activity online can be tracked, from the websites they visit to the information they read to the length of time they spend doing so.

Location data, such as a user’s time zone and GPS movements, is another sort of information that large tech corporations collect and store. Companies may also use freely available resources like newspapers, advertisements, and credit bureaus to learn more about their clients.

Data collection regarding Big Tech Companies

When compared to other market leaders, Google collects more information than any other firm. On the other hand, Apple appears to be the most concerned about protecting its customers’ personal information. In addition, Twitter and Facebook, the two largest social networking sites, appear to be hoarding more information than they need to.

To sum up, organizations can easily and freely exploit customers’ private information for their own financial gain. This is why governments everywhere have been working hard to pass new legislation to address privacy concerns arising from the modern information society.

Minimizing the amount of information collected is a key notion in this context. This principle is the foundation of numerous data privacy laws around the world, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the United Kingdom and the proposed American Data Privacy and Protection Act.

Less invasive methods of data collection

However, data collecting from users is affected by more than the actions of major tech corporations and governments. An individual’s efforts can help them regain control over their own data.

Method 1

We’ve already discussed how using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) can increase your security and anonymity. This is because your data is encrypted in transit through its private VPN tunnel while your IP address is spoofed. Choosing a VPN service that doesn’t keep activity logs is the best way to safeguard your privacy.

Method 2

Some other options exist that can help you keep your private discussions safe as well. WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram are just a few examples of end-to-end encrypted messaging apps that you should be using. You can also use secure email services that make it impossible for anyone to view your messages. ProtonMail, created by the same Swiss firm as the reputable Proton VPN, is a top pick of ours.

Method 3

Using a private search engine and an anonymous browser is also a good idea. When protecting your privacy while browsing the web is a top priority, the Tor browser is an absolute necessity due to the three layers of encryption it employs. It may be sluggish, but it’s free and open to the public. Nonetheless, DuckDuckGo is a worthy substitute for your information-hungry search engine.

Medthod 4

You can maintain good digital hygiene by doing things like installing additional private software and using additional security services. You should also delete your browser’s cache on a regular basis and switch off location services for any apps that you aren’t using.

The best policy is to limit the amount of personal information you disclose and to educate yourself about the company or organization you are considering trusting with your data. Although there is no monetary gain to be had here, your online privacy will be improved.

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