Many consumers fail to understand just how much of their personal information, gathered when they visit a website, is sold or transferred to third parties.
As a rule, the information is not gathered to harm an individual, but rather to determine their preferences, and how they utilize devices and interact on websites. On your social media feed, you might often see posts that are suggested for you. These suggestions come from what you search for as the algorithm tries to give you what it thinks you want.
Information is also gathered to create a customer database that is shared with advertising partners to send relevant marketing material. This helps companies tailor-make their marketing approaches for potential customers.
However, there have been incidents where unscrupulous website owners have sold information for personal gain, leaving users frustrated by a stream of unsolicited calls and emails and wondering how these third parties got their contact information.
California residents are fortunate enough to be able to opt-out of having their data shared. Find out if your state has similar regulations. If not, look for a group lobbying such a law and offer it your support.
If you want to opt-out, click here or send an email to email@example.com