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Your Phone Isn’t Spying on You to Show You Ads (It’s Worse Than That)

Lifehacker: “…What data your phone is actually collecting. Instead of eavesdropping and storing your voice as many assume, your apps, phone, watch, game system, computer, and probably your oven are greedily collecting every data point they possibly can, including but not limited to your:

  • Location information (both through your device’s location settings and IP address)
  • Search history
  • Browsing history
  • Purchase history
  • Physical interactions (that is, how you physically use your device)

This information, taken as a whole, is way more valuable and useful than whatever you talk about, and basically anyone who wants to can buy it. Advertising companies don’t, as a rule, connect this data to anything that can specifically identify you (like your name and address). That wouldn’t be hard to do, but there isn’t much in it for advertisers. They know everything you do, 24 hours a day, so what difference does your name make? The process itself is called fingerprinting, and it allows advertisers to track you across sites and apps…”

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