What does the Internet know about you?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Your personal information is for sale on the Internet, and companies are prospering.

Evidence of that comes in the form of news that the information from more than 80 million people on Facebook was obtained by Cambridge Analytica. Ever since the news broke people are attempting to determine just what the social media site knows, or assumes, about them.

If you haven’t taken the time to review the data compiled by this site, you’ll be surprised once you dig into it.

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Not only has the site gathered information on you based on the various links you clicked on through Facebook, but it’s also made assumptions about your political views and knows whether you live close to your family, if you’re away from your hometown and the type of cellphone you use.

It’s easy to guess how some of that data was obtained, you gave it to them, as an example your hometown. However, if you’ve never posted a single political meme, link or opinion on the current state of things to your account, it may be surprising to find that Facebook has still made a guess as to your political viewpoint.

Additionally, you will be even more surprised to see the advertisers the website thinks you would be interested in, or even “interacted” with.

When I checked my account to see the advertisers listed for my profile, the number was daunting. Many of these alleged “advertisers” were really candidates running for office. Most of them were from another state I’ve never visited much less lived in.

As I went through the settings trying to protect my privacy, I couldn’t help feeling a bit of déjá vu. It was only a short while ago that I was doing this same thing.

And so long as social media is free, we can expect to be doing it again very soon. Because, how else are they going to make money? By selling our information to the highest bidder.