A headline on the news catches your attention: Target store customers have been affected by a large-scale security breach, with credit card numbers compromised for thousands of people. If you’d made a purchase at Target that week, you’d likely take some steps to see if you were affected by the breach. Big data privacy concerns are all around you, and most aren’t announced in the headlines.
Some of your favorite innovations at home or in the palm of your hand may be the source of big data privacy concerns that you didn’t even know you should be worried about. Here are the top offenders:
Apps: Back when you had to access a web browser to do anything, your personal information was relatively secure. Now, when you try to look at a website on your phone, you’ll be prompted to download the app instead. You think, “Sure, why not?” and agree to their terms and conditions, which gives them the ability to track your activity on their app, but also to tap into your camera and microphone for more personal information. You might opt to not download the app, only to be informed that you can’t access the website from your device.
Discount cards: Your grocery store enrolls you in their savings club to give you discounts and serve you better. Or so they say. In fact, these cards are designed to serve the store, telling them about your purchases and behaviors in detail so that they can predict your future purchases and even sell your information. The profits they make on selling your data far exceed any savings you’re seeing on your grocery tab.
Social media: It’s no secret that your personal data isn’t safe on sites like Facebook; recent headlines have made that fact clear. What often doesn’t occur to users is that this “free” service is costing them in many ways related to big data privacy concerns. In addition, Google and Yahoo offer free email services, but they’re also accessing the email.
Smart TVs and home assistants: If you’ve got an assistant like Cortana or Alexa making your home life easy, consider yourself bugged. The microphones in these devices are always on, and information gathered from them can be used to learn your habits and even to convict you of a crime. The same is true of your smart television. If it’s got a microphone or a camera, you’re being watched.
Geo-location: That mapping app is helpful, getting you to your great aunt’s house with GPS, but it’s also taking notes about what else you’re up to. From shopping habits to where you spend your time on the weekends, it’s gathering data about you. You might like those personalized ads and promotions, or it might creep you out a bit when you realize you’ve been tracked.
Big data privacy concerns are a controversial topic, because some consumers firmly believe that better service and a more connected world are worth it. For others, the intrusion is too invasive and they would rather remain anonymous.
To learn more about big data privacy concerns and where they intersect with your own marketing tools, contact us at One Connect.