It was bad enough to see how many corporations track us by doing something as innocuous reading just the headlines at a government-funded Web site like Deutsche Welle (the German international broadcaster). The list I show below (found at dw.com/en/european-union-general-data-protection-regulationgdpr-valid-may-25-2018/a-18265246) is about 2/3 of the data skimmers DW employs.
It got worse when at a trial last week we learned that Google still tracks us when we run its browser in incognito mode -- never mind what it states:
It's what Google doesn't say in its incognito statement that's alarming.
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It is the nice things that hit me the most. Here are some of them.
Web sites switched from asking us to provide a username to our email addresses as the login. Great innovation, as it was one less thing for us to remember. Except: by using our email address, data skimmers can match which sites we visit.
Facebook was thrilled to announce it has now scraped one billion images uploaded by us to Instagram to feed the hungry maw of its AI image recognition code -- automatically, with no human intervention needed or wanted.
When Google and others helpfully suggest that we sync our data between browsers, it's so that they can continue skimming our data as we move from one device to another. They want to match who we are on our home computer with what we do on our mobile devices, and back again.
When Google and Apple suggest we go onto their family plans for sharing Android apps and iTunes music, it's so that they can tie together members of families in their data skimming code.
Google's latest is to make cookies more private by placing each of us into similar-interest groupings. It will still feed our data to advertising agencies. Privacy groups are still working out what the scam is, as Google is focused only how to increase the data it collects from us to sell on to others.