Billy Heany's Digital Marketing Site

In recent months privacy has been on the tip of everyones tongue, and rightly so. Advances in NSA peeping and government leaks has also splurged a variety of other sources to start talking more about internet privacy – and more specifically how brands and marketers are obsessed with knowing everything about us. This video illustates that fine line that is being a crossed, putting facial recognition cameras in billboards in malls. While it may have seemed like a brilliant, clever idea at first when the company thought of it, the fact they are going to start matching everywhere you are with your facebook or other social media is just downright creepy.

This idea of privacy has exploded in the mobile area. An app that I thought was destined to fail, Snapchat, has grown to be used one of the top most used apps everyday according to AppAnnie. Websites, apps, and tools to keep information private has gone crazy. Websites like have had explosive growth by near 1000% from it’s start. Reputation is a SaaS (Software as a Service) that provides a centralized place where you can manage, see, and soon sell your information to marketers and businesses that want to know every bit of your life.

Businesses aren’t the only ones who want to target and segment you by your most indepth information; some apps offer the opportunity to find where strangers are around your location.
With creepy apps like “Girls around me”, a dating app that is just downright weird, can give you location based information down to feet away. Why you would want to give that information to others is beyond me.

What some people don’t seem to know is that when you agree to give your information to these apps most of the time that agreement can’t be revoked. An article by the NewYorker illustrates how this happens even after you disable and even uninstall a service, how apps will still retain your information and refuse to delete it.

This post arises more questions than answers, but there is a few things we can do.

  • Don’t agree to location tracking to apps you don’t trust
  • Privatize your social media profiles – Don’t share information that you don’t want a random stranger to know
  • Don’t freak out – I know it seems a little a little contradictory to the post, but most businesses aren’t looking to do anything creepy with your data, they simply want to provide you with a better ad experience, more customized towards your preferences.

What businesses should be doing – via Bloomberg

  • Be transparent – Let costumers know what is being tracked
  • Consent – There should be an opt in/opt out
  • Let users go – Once they opt out or delete an app, stop keeping their data!

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