Truth is, it’s more than someone who’s watching you. In this online world of “like mining” and “zombie cookies” it’s crucial that we educate ourselves on what is going on.
Recently Bill C-51, a.k.a. the anti-terror bill, a.k.a. the prologue to Nineteen Eighty-Four, took one step closer to becoming law. This has led to a lot of worrying about the surveillance and information-sharing powers given to authorities and discussions about how beneficial or dangerous such legislation is. While dialogue is good for a democratic nation I don’t want to go there. Instead, I’d like to focus on the surveillance and information-sharing powers we give unknown companies on a daily basis when we surf the web.
If you’ve seen this post on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter you are being tracked by third-parties who are able to get an eerily accurate picture of who you are. What do they do with that information? Well, help the Internet you access continue to be “free.” Want to know more about what happens when you check the news or like a band’s page on Facebook? There’s so much to this topic that instead of me rambling about it, you should watch this well-presented documentary called Do Not Track. Ironically, you’ll be tracked if you watch it but their usage of your tracked data can actually improve your understanding of the topic and hopefully better equip you as you surf the Internet.
Are you okay with these practices? Is this type of surveillance and information sharing worth the free price tag of social media sites and other websites? Who do you trust more with your information: your government or corporations? Does privacy even matter or is this just how our lives need to operate now? It’s fine if you don’t mind being tracked by ad companies but I encourage you to be aware of what you are consenting to and its implications.
On a side note, I really don’t like the fact that the word used for the file that tracks you is the word “cookie”. It just makes me want a cookie. Just in case you feel the same way, here’s a link to a cookie recipe.