While I agree with Microsoft that Google being the harbinger of the loss of personal privacy, I would place FB closely behind Google, and would rate “concerned” Microsoft the #3 culprit.
To those that state all changes were made legally, if you click it, you agree to change: While many may click the “I agree” to changing terms of usage, very few read these changed conditions which tend to bury possibly offensive changes deep in an agreement. Don’t blame the users, some of these terms and conditions are over 30 pages for a “simple” update.
It’s time for a massive change to user terms and conditions click through agreements. Changes that could affect a users privacy should have full clarity with full disclosure. No longer should companies be allowed to make dramatic changes to privacy while burying said changes in places that are rarely if ever read by users or potential users. It’s not reasonable to have expectations that most if any are reading these agreements.
Privacy Invasion - How to Stop Tracking Cookies Part 1
By now those of you who have concerns about Google aggregating your data likely have deleted all of your Google history and took a serious look at the risk on continued usage of Google solutions. That subject is covered already.
But what of the hundreds or so actively aggressive other companies that are likely tracking your every move on the Internet? Well, they are busy while you are reading this. Even if you are using Private Browsing mode, you would have to close every open browser window before opening another. Yes, there is a hole in private browsing. Cookies are allowed during browser usage but deleted afterwards in Private Browsing mode. That means if you have one browser window open any tracking cookies place in that session can and will track you if you open another browsing window. It would seem like a giant bug in how private browsing works. What seems evident usually is.
There are tools to help stop the spying. A great place to start is opting using the NAI tool available at:
Not all tracking entities are callous. There are some that believe you have the right to your privacy. This tool will examine the tracking companies that did leave cookies on your computer. And it will give you a way of modifying the cookie and replacing it with a "DO NOT TRACK" cookie that supposedly will stop that company (voluntarily I might add) from any future tracking.
It is a free service of the National Advertising Initiative, a collection of over 80 leading online marketing companies that have made consumer education and consumer choice top priorities. Allowing for a method of opting out on data collection.
Tune in tomorrow for Part II, Interactive Cookie Blocking Tools
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