Every year, users and companies face data leaks of private data and financial information. But each year, we also see some brands that use privacy' as their motive to build a large customer base.
Many big brands claim that they have developed technologies to let people enjoy more privacy. But still, 75% of users have claimed not to trust brands and their way of data sharing.
Therefore, isn't it better to learn about these technologies yourself and take appropriate measures to stop them? If you think learning is crucial, this article will help you understand these technologies, their impact on privacy, and how to stop them.
Types of tracking technologies
We will discuss some of the most popular tracking technologies in this section.
GPS tracking is tracking the location of an object or person using satellites. Law enforcement agencies often use it for criminal investigations, but it is also used for commercial purposes. For example, retailers can use GPS tracking to track the movement of their customers to improve their marketing strategies.
Moreover, it is estimated that the global GPS tracking device market will gain up to $4.93 billion by 2028. This shows the increasing popularity of GPS tracking and its privacy risks.
GPS tracking can be very intrusive because it can track a person's movements over a period. It can also reveal personal information such as their home address and workplace.
Internet tracking is the process of tracking the online activities of a person. It collects data about the person's browsing history, search history, and other information. This data is then used to create a profile of the person's interests and preferences.
Internet tracking can be used for commercial purposes to track consumers' activities and target them with ads. Google's Click ID (or Gclid) or Mobile Advertising ID (MAID) are examples of tracking Ads. It can also track the movements of political activities, which are used for political agendas.
The risks posed by internet tracking are severe because it can reveal a lot of personal information about a person. Moreover, most sites use trackers to collect data on users' online behavior. In addition, it is not easy to opt-out of internet tracking because most of the trackers are hidden from view.
It is also standard for all websites you visit to see your IP address. And in turn, they get to their visitors’ locations. Such information can be used for many purposes, like adjusting shipping fees.
However, it can also be misused and make users pay more due to price discrimination. Learning what is your IP address is easy, and it can be just as seamless to hide it. For this, a Virtual Private Network can do wonders. How? It lets you manipulate your IP address, changing it to the location you prefer.
This technology is used to track a person's movements by using Bluetooth beacons. These beacons are small devices that emit a signal that smartphones and other devices can detect. This signal is used to track the person's movements and interactions with the physical world.
Beacon-based tracking is often used for commercial purposes to track customers' movements in retail stores. It can also be used for marketing purposes to track customers' reactions to certain products or services.
Impacts of tracking technologies on privacy
The impacts of tracking technologies on privacy are severe. They threaten the person's personal information, and they can be used for nefarious purposes. Some of the impacts of tracking technologies on privacy are:
- Cyberstalking. Cyberstalking is the process of stalking a person online. It can be done by placing tracking devices in objects like toys, fitness trackers, fitment in cars, etc. Cybercriminals can access your track log and sell it on the black market for financial gains.
- Social media profiling. Social media profiling is collecting data about a person's activities on social media platforms. This data is used to create a profile of the person's interests and preferences. Social media profiling can be used for commercial purposes to target the person with ads.
- Spoofing. Spoofing is the process of imitating the GPS signal of a person to track their movements. It can be done by using a fake GPS tracking device or hacking into the person's GPS.
But how to stop them?
Ways to reduce or complicate tracking
Tracking technologies can be stopped by using the following measures:
- Use of VPNs. A VPN is software that can encrypt the traffic and protect the person's privacy. You can use it for protection from internet tracking, beacon-based tracking, and IP-based tracking.
- Use of tracker blockers. Tracking blockers are browser extensions that can block trackers from collecting data about a person's online activities.
- Use of Tor browser. The Tor browser is a unique browser that can be used to browse the internet anonymously. It uses multiple layers of high-level encryption to provide privacy.
- Use of anti-tracking software. This software can protect a person's privacy by blocking trackers from collecting data about their online activities. It can stop the websites from tracking you and alerts you of the website that attempts tracking.
- Use of privacy-friendly services. There are many privacy-friendly services available on the internet. These services do not collect data about the person's online activities. You can prefer using them instead of other suspicious services.
Tracking technologies are undoubtedly beneficial in many cases, but there can be some drawbacks. So, it's better to be aware of them to keep your data private and safe. These methods mentioned above are some ways that you can use to contain it.
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