You are being tracked and ‘hunted’ in everything you do on the net. At the moment, big business and governments are getting away with it because people know so little about the technology they use. Do people care? I really don’t know, but until the extent of this electronic stalking gets known by the masses, it will continue as it is.
What About GDPR?
So what about it? Does the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that came in last May actually do anything? First of all, have you TRIED to to find out what a company (say Amazon) holds on you and then enforce the ‘right to be forgotten‘? If you have, you’ll know what an absolute pain in the butt it is and how they (businesses) ignore you until you threaten them with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Only then do you get a nice email from the company requesting oodles of information more to ‘prove you’re you’. If you persevere, and in something like three to four months after your first request, you’ll get an email from them saying something like ‘Sorry to lose you, we have removed your detail from our records…‘. HOW do I know they have followed my instructions? How can I prove it?
Ah, but at least Google has the Incognito browser window and ‘they’ can’t track you
Yeah, like right… (and other such scathing comments). I had a small rant about Google’s supposedly ‘private’ Incognito browser window in one of my October blogs, Duck-Duck-Stay. Private window? Two words: it isn’t. Click on the link to refresh your memory.
Name, Rank and Serial Number
That was all a prisoner of war was obliged to supply when captured. Never, ever, ever give your correct date of birth and preferably not your gender when ordering anything on line. Why do they need to know that? They don’t. They want to target you, pigeonhole you into a demographic so they can build up (they think) an accurate picture of you. Why? Make money usually and governments… well, they’ve got all your details anyway, so don’t sweat that one.
Date of Birth, Gender and Post Code
However, did you know that with just date of birth, your gender and your post code (no name) something like 85% of the population can be identified? With a name like Zakaszewska, I don’t stand a chance of anonymity! This particular study was done for USA citizens, but is will hold good in the UK. It’s a lengthy study and I am not suggesting you read it all, but it’s there to back up my case. If they have your credit card details too – bingo!
But I can’t order online if I don’t give my date of birth…
So lie. Blatantly lie! 1st January 1999 or whatever is the minimum age you can order from the site. Or go the other way as far back as you can go. The lovely Doreen, down the road from me is well into her eighties and merrily orders on Amazon right, left and Chelsea and is a valid octogenarian consumer, so make your ‘birth year’ 1920 or even further back. Have fun with it. If you are ordering something trendy or ‘gadgety’ put in a pre-1920 year. If you are ordering a woolly cardie and slippers, bung in a year that would make you 16 – or 18 if the site is being picky.
Don’t be boring and put your real birthday with a different year. I want to start a competition. Let’s see which one wins – the majority of the population suddenly being born on Christmas Day or on New Years Day? Like the late, great TOG Master Terry Wogan started a campaign to make Jedi Knights an officially recognised religion – or was it the TOGs – (it only needs 10,000 people registering themselves as Jedi Knight on the 10 year census poll!), I would love to start and spread the MAD WAMS (Mischievously and Deliberately Wrong Age Miscreant Society).
Big Brother is Tracking YOU!
I am handing over to my new best friend, DuckDuckGo and their brilliant blog on how Big Business tracks you – I can’t be tracked by just browsing a website. Yeah, right, etc., etc.
Have fun and see you next week.
Comment and Security
I love getting your comments for reasons of security, they cannot contain any URL / links as they will be blocked. Thank you for your understanding.
Any links given are given in good faith and no responsibility is taken for any adverse results should you click on text or a graphic that acts as a link to another area. If you are concerned, close the Window – in the top left-hand corner of the window – if you find yourself in a window or a site in which you are not comfortable. Push comes to shove, switch the computer off – but be aware, you may lose unsaved work in other applications.
No site or company is personally recommended – they are simply places where you may (or you may not) get more help.
Many of the links in this blog are specifically from a free online encyclopedia called Wikipedia. As far as ‘trustworthy information’ goes, Wikipedia is probably the best one. Founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger (and others) in… but hey, click on the links to find out more. Oh yes, and there’s the BBC (in the UK) but I don’t know the news channels in other countries to be able to comment.
This series is specifically about PCs (Personal Computers) and Windows 10 and not about Apple Macs.