What Major Company Online Privacy Changes Mean For You

Big brother watching through binocularsYou’re being tracked…

It’s okay.

Google’s privacy policy changes have caused a lot of concern.  Facebook has been doing dubious activities with our online activity since inception.  Apple has been going around security settings to track us.  All of this talk about privacy makes a person want to shrink back into anonymity, like a cockroach when the kitchen light comes on.

While you may want to scurry away from the issue, the reality is you are being tracked online.  And unless you want to stop using the internet, this will increase.  The Onion had a great video about Google providing an “opt out village.”

Seth Godin wrote an interesting post on privacy.  He said that we gave up privacy a long time ago.  We just don’t like getting surprised about how companies are using our information.  While this is true, I think our part in this “agreement” is simpler.

Our currency in an online environment is our behavior tracking.  Where we go online, what we buy, who we buy from, who we are connected with, and what we think about brands/companies/issues are what we pay with in exchange for free searches, social networking, and entertainment.

When I watch something on Hulu, I am glad they give me a chance to tell them if an advertisement is relevant.  I am also aware that I’ve just “paid” to watch that “free” episode of a TV show.  That’s what I am “agreeing to” when going online.

Photo Credit: Andy Hay

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