Your Privacy is Being Violated – YOU Are The Product

Your location is being tracked right now by hundreds of apps and web sites. They are violating your privacy. Once again, proving the adage that if you are not paying for a product, then… YOU are the product. In other words, your privacy is being violated by collecting and selling your location and other personal information.

The Privacy Project by The New York Times

On Thursday’s, Dec 19, show on MSNBC Velshi & Ruhle, New York Times reporter Charlie Warzel talked about The Privacy Project, a series of stories he and his colleagues at The New York Times are rolling out.

The NYT team obtained data from location data companies that sell your information. In the article in the series titled Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy by Stuart Thompson and Charlie Warzel, it opens up with an amazing and scary animation illustrating location data collected around places like the New York Stock Exchange, the Pentagon, the White House, and others.

You’ve probably never heard of most of the companies — and yet to anyone who has access to this data, your life is an open book. They can see the places you go every moment of the day, whom you meet with or spend the night with, where you pray, whether you visit a methadone clinic, a psychiatrist’s office or a massage parlor.

One Dataset, Zero Privacy by Stuart Thompson and Charlie Warzel of The New York Times

It’s everywhere, and you cannot escape. But you can fight back.

The problem with this industry and reporting on this industry, is that it is completely opaque. People who work in the industry say that online advertising is so complex this information goes 1 place and then its a black box. You have no idea where its going, how its being used, there’s no real accountability there.

Charlie Warzel, The New York Times on MSNBC’s show Velshi & Ruhle

YOU Are The Product

If you haven’t heard this, you need to learn it, know it, live it and take action to protect yourself against what is really going on. It essentially goes like this:

If you are not paying for it,
you’re not the customer,
YOU are the product being sold.

Google YOU Are The Product and learn more.

This is an industry that is taking advantage of people.

Charlie Warzel, The New York Times on MSNBC’s show Velshi & Ruhle

Protect Yourself – Be Informed

If you could see the full trove, you might never use your phone the same way again.

One Dataset, Zero Privacy by Stuart Thompson and Charlie Warzel of The New York Times

The first step in protecting yourself, is to be informed. Then take action. In Freaked Out? 3 Steps to Protect Your Phone they describe some actions you can take. And more articles are coming, so read those too.

One of the Reasons I Use Apple Products

One of the many many reasons that I use Apple products is because they are fighting to protect our privacy, and have been for a very long time. Apple does not make US the product. So you can take a big step to protect yourself by using iOS and macOS and Safari and limit the number of third party apps that you give your location data to.

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