Should Companies Collect Information About Us?

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Budwicks avatar Technology
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While I hate what companies are doing with the information that is collected on us, the information was freely provided by us. Nothing in life is free. When we use programs like Google, web browsers, and other "freeware", they collect all information that we provide. This includes what we search for, where we go online, how often we visit certain sites and what our interests are. This is how those "freeware" companies make money. They compile our information and sell it to marketing companies to target us directly for their ads.
Ever notice that once you research something, like a car or motorcycle, you start getting ads showing up about that product? Companies pay bug bucks for this information.
Can you stop it? No. Can you reduce it? Yes. One thing I do is use a Tor browser that doesn't record where you go, where you live, or what your Internet habits are. The only one who can protect your privacy on the Internet is you.

One of the legitimate ways companies collect a lot of information on you, particularly supermarkets, is to give you a card to accumulate loyalty points. So you give them your personal details and this allows them to track your spending habits. Then if you go through the checkout and use any kind of credit card at the same time, they can associate that card with your loyalty card and basically have an even bigger picture of you. I avoid loyalty cards except for my airline frequent flyer card which has a credit card built in. I use it just for my flights and accommodation etc. I don't mind that they know where I fly and which accommodation I use as I often get discounts and room ugrades etc but I wouldn't do it with just any company.

Should? No. Can we stop them? No.

Depends on how we define collection, I suppose.

If by "collect" you mean store the info you voluntarily posted on your public facebook page, it's no less than any other person with access could do.

If by collect you mean access and store otherwise private information, no.

I think it should be a matter of consent.

They already do.

No. And neither should any part of the government

I don't really see any harm in it, other than the invasion of privacy. If there was a way to do it without that, then everyone would probably be all for it. What is really unforgivable is companies who sell your information, that should definitely not be allowed.

@Shoebill I don't really see any harm in it, other than the invasion of privacy. If there was a way to do it without that...

Of course if the information had no value, they wouldn't collect it.
When they ask for information, I think we should assume that the information will be made available to any buyer at the right price.

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