WE ARE ALWAYS TRACKED

I recently became aware of the extent online media can get into our personal interest and identities. When a person creates a page or an account on social media, he or she has to put their personal information into the platform. These details are then set as our online identity. This profile details will be tracked by the web services and used to target us with various contents, which will interest us.

For example, when we post or browse about our favourite football club and later when we browse, the ads or news regarding the football club will be displayed in the advertisement column, this is because the web services maintain our browsing history and the user profile. Thus, comes the partial identity which is said as the secondary characteristics of the main character. For example, when we plan to buy a gadget online we may browse and add it to shopping site’s wish list or cart, and this data will be your partial identity.

The Identifier is a code that identifies a person or an object uniquely. The identifiers may include the MAC address of our computer’s network adapter, E-mail, Mobile number and even the location through GPS. The rate of information gets increased based on our online browsing pattern. For instance, a search you conducted for “discount shoes” or a list of websites visited. Your profile may also be based on inference data. For example, a service provider has a certain number of data points; they will use those as the basis to infer other things about you

An advertiser can track a user’s movements between Web sites because the first banner advertisement presented can set a cookie containing a unique identifier. Whenever we are browsing online the online web services drop a specific code into our system which we used to navigate, this system includes the data about the browsing and its pattern. This system is utilised by the sites to target us in later browsing. When we enter into a site, and suddenly we find an advertisement based on our previous day’s browse data. For instance, we checked the price of an apple laptop online, and on the next day, we would be able to find advertisements about the suggested laptops with low price, this is done by the web services by dropping the cookies inside our system. For example, Ebay.com sets a cookie to identify users when they log in; this allows users to download content from Ebay.com without having to re-enter a password.

I can conclude that we are always tracked one way or the other, even our present location is monitored by an unknown person on the other side.

References

  1. Wood, Andrew F, and Matthew J Smith. “Online Communication”. Google Books. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
  2. Shull, Mark, William Bohlman, and Elisa Cooper. “Patent US20060230039 – Online Identity Tracking”. Google Books. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.

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