Many of us approach online privacy with a "who would be interested in boring old me" attitude. That's the internet equivalent of whistling past the graveyard.
Check out data consultant Dylan Curran's expose on what Facebook and, especially, Google knows about you.
I’ll just do a short summary of what’s in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.
First, every Google Ad I’ve ever viewed or clicked on, every app I’ve ever launched or used and when I did it, every website I’ve ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app I’ve ever installed or searched for.
They also have every image I’ve ever searched for and saved, every location I’ve ever searched for or clicked on, every news article I’ve ever searched for or read, and every single Google search I’ve made since 2009. And then finally, every YouTube video I’ve ever searched for or viewed, since 2008.
This information has millions of nefarious uses. You say you’re not a terrorist. Then how come you were googling Isis? Work at Google and you’re suspicious of your wife? Perfect, just look up her location and search history for the last 10 years. Manage to gain access to someone’s Google account? Perfect, you have a chronological diary of everything that person has done for the last 10 years.
This is one of the craziest things about the modern age. We would never let the government or a corporation put cameras/microphones in our homes or location trackers on us. But we just went ahead and did it ourselves because – to hell with it! – I want to watch cute dog videos.After you read Curran's plainly harrowing account, ask yourself why your government allows these companies, that pose such an obvious and enormous threat to the privacy of its citizens, to operate in our country. The Corporatist States of America are a write off, a lost cause, but surely Canada could, in conjunction with Europe, ban this sort of privacy intrusion and make Google and Facebook pay a hefty price for defying them. Collectively they have enough clout to bring the software giants to heel. Not acting quickly and forcefully is a dereliction of their duty to us all.