How much personal data do companies collect?

Locations and addresses of our home in private messages, phone numbers and much more, are the valuable personal information - data that we deliver daily to online services without realizing it.

However, by accepting the terms of service we agreed that companies may use our personal data for their own use.

How many times have you read a privacy policy from an online platform to the end? None; me neither.


The online security platform vpnMentor has read the privacy policies of some of the most popular applications, creating an interactive tool that shows how these companies monitor our every move.

The new service studied more than 7,2 billion accounts on platforms such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Tinder. How many of us know the details of the privacy policies we accept almost automatically?

Facebook and Instagram seem to be the biggest offenders, as they monitor their users as much as they can.
What do company technicians know about you? The new tool shows how big the problem is. Is it time to think more before pressing acceptance in terms of service?

Below are some of the details displayed by the tool:

Location: Of the 21 platforms studied, 18 tracked your current location at all times while using the app. Some of them, like Tinder, keep track of you even when the app is not in use. Facebook and Instagram not only track your location but also the location of businesses and people nearby. They also store your home address and the places you visit most often.
Your messages: Do you think that no one will know your personal messages? You need to review. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram use the information you share on messaging services to find out more about you, while Twitter and Spotify openly state that they have access to all the messages you send on their platforms.
Device information: Many services and applications monitor more of your device's functions than they seem to need. Facebook and Instagram monitor battery level, signal strength, nearby Wi-Fi hotspots, if the phone is securely connected, app names and file names on your device, among others. Google and Amazon keep voice recordings out of searches, while Alexa and Apple Music track phone calls and emails sent and received on devices that use the services.

If you do not have an account on the above platforms, this will not prevent you from tracking your internet traffic. Google monitors your activity on third-party sites that use Google features such as ads.

Facebook-affiliated pages (8.4 million sites across the web) send Facebook and Instagram data collected through Facebook Business Tools, such as the Like button - regardless of whether you have a Facebook account or are logged in.

Even if you have set the "Do Not Track" option that some browsers have, you are not safe. Almost no site responds to the signal, and continues to monitor you.

It's not just third party websites that store your data, Facebook collects and retains the data provided about you by others, such as those who upload your contact information without your permission.

Gaya Polat, from VPNmentor, said: “The amount of data held by users on the internet should make them wary of using their personal information.

You can see it too interactive tool.

Caution: VPNmentor service is advertising, and contains affiliate links. This means that with every click on the VPN services it contains, it receives percentages, especially if you purchase one of the services. Also the free tool offered by the company may not be free, as all the data it discovers may end up in the company's databases.



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