Online data tracking is so pervasive that the concept of Internet privacy seems almost oxymoronic. Who is watching us, and what do they want with our data?
At a glance, Facebook appears to be free. Its registration page, after all, doesn’t ask for your bank details, nor does it even ask for a donation. Yet Facebook doesn’t give away access to its platform for nothing. Your name, your gender, your date of birth, your hometown, your email address; these are your payments to Facebook. These innocuous facts about yourself are supplemented the more you use the site; the pages you ‘like’, the locations you ‘check in’ to, the websites you visit; all this information is collected, organised, and stored in one of Facebook’s vast data storage facilities. Mark Zuckerberg farms data and the harvest is plentiful.