Security

How Google, Yahoo, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon track you (infographic)

facebook like ice

Above: Facebook like icon carved out of ice.

Americans are starting to perk up about privacy after the reveal of a government surveillance program called PRISM. But it’s important to know how tech companies generally track your data and what you’re agreeing to in those terms of service agreements.

Google, Facebook, and Yahoo all rely pretty heavily on advertising revenue for their business models. Amazon and Apple both sell products, but they collect plenty of that advertising data as well. On top of advertising clicks and your search queries, these companies also track things like your location, your IP address, the Internet service provider and browser type you use, your e-mail address and phone number, and even your face in some cases. And they do this through connecting your profile to different services, watching what advertisements you click on through cookies, and other means.

It’s often difficult for a user to determine just how their information is being used, however. This post itself will likely be somewhere around 200 words, and I doubt you’ll get all the way to the end of it. Facebook’s privacy policy, however is 3,112 words long, and Google’s is 2,250. And sometimes there are different privacy policies for different products within each company. Are you going to read all of that?

This infographic shows an overview of how some of these companies are using your data and the privacy policies you’ll encounter. Check it out:

tech company privacy infographic

Infographic via Baynote


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