• Adam Rayf

Understanding Online Privacy



A client recently brought up her concern about online privacy - and how companies like Google and Apple collect and use our data.


She asked me for my option on the matter, and while i am absolutely no expert (and I know several people who are), I thought I'd share it below for those who may be interested...


The subject of online privacy/tracking/analytics is complicated and personal. My take is very liberal (ie. ignorance is bliss), while my wife and many other people I know take it very seriously, so here is goes...


OVERVIEW: Google, Apple, and really all companies these days want to gather as much data on you as possible - primarily so they can sell it to advertisers (or use it themself) to target "personalized advertising" at you - which is worth more than non-targeted ads. ​ They repackage most methods of information gathering as "features" like search engines, facial recognition in photos apps or some newer ones like Artificial Intelligence or Autonomous Driving - but their main objective is to "sell your data" to the highest bidder.

Each individual "data-point" they collect on their own are innocent enough - but as they collect more and more "data-points" over long periods of time - they end up with a very comprehensive, scarily accurate and debatably invasive profile of you. (Ie. interests, likes/dislikes, family, friends, financial status and even subconscious things like physiological state etc)


THE BIG DEBATE: At what point is the amount of data a company has on you considered too much - vs the services they offer you - vs ​their transparency of doing so - vs the betterment or worsening of society of these actions.


NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES: Very interesting and informative documentaries on these exact points above - highly recommend!

The Social Dilemma: https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224 The Great Hack: https://www.netflix.com/title/80117542


WHAT ABOUT APPLE? Apple has taken a very public stance on user privacy and data gathering - claiming to limit the amount of data they collect and being more transparent about it when they do.

https://arstechnica.com/.../tim-cook-says-apples.../


Hope this helps!