For most of us, web browsers are an open window to the endless twists and turns of the internet. But these two-way dormers also allow the outside world to intrude, at times, sneakily into our privacy, record our every move on the web so as to understand our aspirations and influence our behaviour, not to talk of simply infecting our machines, by pure desire to harm or to sell us a cleaning solution. Continue reading
Remembering different passwords for the wide range of sites we visit daily is a real challenge. How many times did you not have to press the “forgotten password” link to generate a new one? Some services have noticed the aberration of the classic password and offer to authenticate via a code received by SMS or a push notification in a dedicated app. This saves you from constantly having to go back through email. This is the most secure technique, which is also found in the double-authentication process. Continue reading
The remaining battery power on your smartphone may reveal your location to websites, concerning privacy-conscious web users. This occurs from a simple HTML web script that repeatedly monitors the status of identifiers and obtains information from the Battery Status API.
Internet-based applications are building up privacy concerns worldwide. The UN has even named privacy in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How exactly does privacy regulation differ in the United States and in the European Union? See below for the top ways in which privacy regulation varies between these two large economies.
UR is a web browser focused on user privacy. Learn more more about the privacy feature here.
If you are traveling through the US border, you may be subjected to an invasive device search. This is beginning to raise questions amongst those who want to protect the private data on our computers, phones, and other digital devices.
On these grounds, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a new guide for those traveling to the US. In a long or short format, this guide gives travelers the facts they need in order to prepare for border crossings while protecting their digital information.
See more on the EFF website: https://www.eff.org/press/releases/digital-privacy-us-border-new-how-guide-eff
“Big Data” is an umbrella phrase used to mean a massive volume of both structured and unstructured data that is so large, it is difficult to process using traditional database and software techniques.
Big Data has the potential to improve operations and make faster, more intelligent decisions. It’s not just companies that are collecting and analyzing these massive stores of data.
This data, once captured, formatted, manipulated, stored, and analyzed can help a company or organization gain useful insight to predict behavior, increase revenues, obtain or retain customers and recognize emerging patterns, among others.
First-party data is the data you give away willingly to websites. Advertisers and publishers can extract and compile data by requiring you to register online and by then analyzing your activity.
Example: your email address, name, pages you like, ads you click, etc.
Third-party data is information that’s collected by an entity that doesn’t have a direct relationship with consumers. This data is normally compiled by specialist firms who pay websites to collect information about their visitors. This data is then used to piece together detailed profiles about users’ tastes and behaviors as they browse the Internet.
Example: an advertising tracker will place a cookie on your browser and see where you go so you see ads for things you want. (Maybe those shoes?)
Second-party data is the newcomer to the scene. It is essentially first-party data that another party obtains directly from the source. This data isn’t given away directly—it usually is obtained through a direct relationship with another entity. Deals can be made between publishers or a Data Management Platform (DMP). Or simply between two parties who could benefit from each other’s first-party data.
Example: a pet store sharing data with a veterinarian, who both have similar clients.
Collecting and dealing with all that information requires a wide range of different players. Data brokers earn their living by helping advertisers and publishers manage their own first-party data, as well as selling them more data about users.
“Companies stress that they do not know users’ names. But they identify them by numbers, and as they build up detailed profiles about those numbered users, there is concern that the information might be traced to individuals.”
– The Economist
All this data is divided into segments defined by location, device, marital status, income, job, shopping habits, travel plans and many other factors. These segments are then are then auctioned off to buyers of ad space in real time.
While data sharing can lead to products and services that make your life easier, more entertaining, economical or even informational, it is important to be aware of your data. So, whether it’s your first-, second- or third-party data, it is important to understand where your data goes, and how it is used.