Facebook and Google Own You!

By Malcolm Out Loud, Contributor, US Daily Review.

Remember the old adage, ‘Nothing in life is free’, ‘There is no free lunch’ or ‘Everything comes with a price tag’? Some retailers would like to argue that point, but when you drill down you always find a caveat to any “free”  offer.

We have all been suspicious of government snooping into the details of our private lives, using their big brother status to delve into our activities, our habits, our preferences. A predominant theme of George Orwell’s classic Nineteen Eighty-Four centers on pervasive government surveillance and the consequential public mind control that could dominate our every action. How ironic that our fear of Big Brother would materialize with the big business juggernauts Facebook and Google. If you’ve been a little alarmed in the past about how much Google and Facebook know about you, brace yourself – they’ll know a great deal more about you in the future. More than your employer, more than your friends and family, maybe even more than your spouse.

Facebook recently released new privacy policies which clearly remind us that the services they provide are not free after all,  we simply pay for their services with our personal data.

Facebook can tell you who your friends are and track both you and your friends:

- We receive data from the computer, mobile phone or other device you use to access Facebook. This may include your IP address, location, the type of browser you use, or the pages you visit. For example, we may get your GPS location so we can tell you if any of your friends are nearby.

- We also put together data from the information we already have about you and your friends. For example, we may put together data about you to  determine which friends we should show you in your News Feed or suggest you tag in the photos you post. We may put together your current city with GPS and other location information we have about you to, for example, tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in. We may also put together data about you to serve you ads that might be more relevant to you.

When they say Public, it means the opposite of Private:

- Choosing to make your information public is exactly what it sounds like: anyone, including people not accessing Facebook, will be able to see it.

- Choosing to make your information public also means that this information: can be associated with you (i.e., your name, profile picture, Facebook profile, User ID, etc.) even off Facebook; can show up when someone does a search on Facebook or on a public search engine; will be accessible to the games, applications, and websites you and your friends use.

Okay so we own it, they just use all of it at their will:

- While you are allowing us to use the information we receive about you, you always own all of your information. Your trust is important to us, which is why we don’t share information we receive about you with others unless we have: received your permission; given you notice, such as by telling you about it in this policy; or removed your name or any other personally identifying information from it.

Be careful of the posts you make on Facebook or it could quickly become part or your reputation:

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