It’s been happening for years. Much of it was enabled using this technology you are looking at now (http, html, etc.).
But the big difference now is the slow but steady increase in shared data. Let me explain.
You might agree to have your personal posts tracked by signing up for facebook.
You might agree to have your drug store purchases tracked by signing up for a discount card.
You might agree to be tracked by getting a drivers license and driving on city streets.
You ‘opted-in’ for these.
But you definitely didn’t agree to have all of these companies share (sell) their data about you to each other. I’ve been warning this was coming for years, and people look at me like I have tinfoil ears.
First this – Facebook is now ‘integrating’ drug store purchase data into their system. The company is called DataLogix. Yep, buy something private at CVS, see it on your facebook wall.
Everyone else might see it too, including family and those untrusted facebook app developers.
How? Why? Is this legal? Can they do this?
How — Easy, it’s just data and you are an account number.
Why — Because Facebook exists to make money off of your personal information in any way possible. That is their business model. They sell nothing else but your privacy to others (and I don’t believe this is the worst they will come up with).
So – Is this legal? Funny thing about tech – when something new is done, it is legal until someone figures it out… and determines it is bad… and does studies to gather evidence of abuse… and finds an advocate to take their case… and pays for the case as it goes through roadblocks and appeals year after year… until finally, maybe 2-5 years later, the courts determine this is now illegal and the operation must stop.
But programmers know this, so tech companies just run the program and plan a ‘legal-again’ upgrade for if and when the courts act.
Millions of consumers will be affected and perhaps violated before the courts can catch up with the tech. Many times the offending program is long cancelled and replaced by something far more effective while the courts are still arguing about obsolete tech.
And if you think this is just about consumerism you are wrong. Millions of datapoints on where your car drives and parks day after day are being collected and stored in police databases. They are not deleting data on the innocents, they are storing it “for future crime investigations”.
And lest you think the cops themselves store this, no, they turn to companies like Datalogix to store the data, and any day now they are going to figure out how to monetize that data also.
Big brother is being brought to you by Facebook. And most of you are opting in.