EFF warns of ‘one-way mirror’ in the world of corporate online spying
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently published an extensive study that examines techniques used by online service providers to collect and track data on consumers’ personal information and online activities. The report, published on Monday, uncovers corporate surveillance and tracking methods. The EFF found that Facebook uses conversion pixels that collect data on third party websites. Google uses location information to asses visits to stores. Amazon Echo and Google Home have the ability to harvest audio data, which can, in turn, be used by employees to improve voice recognition technology. The EFF warns that third-party tracking is invisible to most consumers, yet presents a threat to consumer privacy.
Unique identifiers like tracking codes, cookies, mac addresses, usernames, and IPs can be used to connect elements from multiple online services, working together to create a bigger and more complete picture on individuals’ lives and internet usage. The EFF states that this information can create sprawling behavioral profiles which can reveal political affiliations, religious beliefs, sexual identities, race, ethnicity, education level, income brackets, and mental health. The report claims that Google collects data on over 80 percent of web traffic.
Read the Report Here: Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance