Facebook data abuse is just the tip of the iceberg: Why the whole Internet is a data protection scandal.
- The three most important reasons why personality profiles on the Internet are never safe
- Secret profiling is common practice, even without disclosing personal data
The current Facebook data protection scandal once again shows that we all leave personal traces on the Internet that have no place in the hands of profit-oriented companies. But not only Facebook users should be more careful with the Internet, the intimate secrets of all surfers are in danger.
Current Case Is Only The Tip Of The Iceberg
Facebook is facing the worst crisis in their history. Cambridge Analytica is said to have succeeded in collecting personal information from 50 million Facebook users, packing it into personality profiles, evaluating them and using the findings to exert a massive influence on the US elections. The case shows once again clearly – the Internet stores everything about us: the search for diseases, the amount of credit, sex videos consumed and much more. However, ignorance of this fact is still widespread. Equally unknown are the dangers lurking away from such data protection scandals. The abuse of personality profiles is common for three main reasons.
Reason 1: Corporate Greed For Data
User profile data is and remains the fuel in the Internet business. The industry has long since established itself that generates billions in business from it: Intermediaries collect profile data, tie it into large packages and sell it on. All this is perfectly legal and has been happening for years.
Reason 2: Data In Entrepreneurial Hands Unsafe
Whether Yahoo, BMW or Experian: news about hacked accounts and stolen data records have become news like bomb attacks in the Middle East – nothing unusual. And here, too, the feeling often creeps in that one is not personally affected. A fallacy. Some examples: In 2014, Russian hackers captured an incredible 1.2 billion dial-in combinations for Internet profiles. In 2016, Web of Trust (WOT), one of the most popular browser extensions with 140 million users, turned out to be a nasty data sling and sold collected information about its users’ surfing habits to third-party companies. And in 2017, the personality profiles of 220 million voters, who will now become Facebook’s fate, were for sale in the dubious Darknet. In short: personality profiles are simply out of place in the hands of companies. Experience teaches us that collected data is almost always misused sooner or later. The reasons are always the same: human error, greed for profit and weak security measures.
Reason 3: Sniffing Everywhere
No matter whether PC, tablet, mobile phone or smart TV: anyone surfing the Internet is permanently monitored by data collectors (“trackers” in English). These mini-spies hide in invisible pictures or as tiny elements in the background. Hundreds of these digital snoopers are now diligently providing information to market researchers, scoring companies and data traders. Over time, detailed, personal user profiles are created. These can contain information about hobbies, diseases, political opinions, finances, fears and even sexual preferences. Data collectors have a particularly easy game when users register using online accounts (Google, Facebook, Microsoft) and then surf the Internet with their ID card, so to speak. However, since the data collectors also register, for example, which browser is used, which additional programs are installed and which screen resolution is set, the collected data can usually also be personally assigned to users without an account.
Social plug-ins like Facebook’s “Like Me” button are among the worst variants. Even if the buttons are not clicked, they diligently transfer data that is always fed to the user’s Facebook account. For example, a list of all visited Internet pages including time and length of stay. Facebook knows exactly which pages its users have visited with Social Plug-in. But even surfers who don’t have a Facebook account can create detailed profiles in this way: Which products are users interested in? Does he have financial problems or even hemorrhoids?
All-Round Protection Through A Smart Box
But one thing is certain: Nothing is safe. Avoiding the Internet for this reason, however, is not a solution. The good news: Protecting is very simple. “Not only computer cracks are able to stand up to ubiquitous data collectors,” says data protectionist Christian Bennefeld. An effective and user-friendly solution is the eBlocker: docked to the router, the small box is ready for use in a few minutes and from now on automatically prevents the tapping of personal data traces on all websites. And best of all: The protection works without software installation on all Internet-compatible devices, whether PC, smartphone, tablet or game console.
“What does the internet know about me?”, obviously much more than you would like! If you want to prevent this flood of information leakage, you must take action. Making your IP address anonymous is not enough. To effectively protect your privacy on the web, you also need to block all tracking services, ad servers, and data collectors. The smart solution is the eBlocker. The device hides your IP address, stops data collectors and blocks advertising – conveniently for all Internet devices on your home network and with no complicated software installation.