For the past few days I have been using DuckDuckGo’s Privacy at a Glance and the Terms of Service; Didn’t Read extensions to analyze the privacy, online tracking and terms of service of my daily browsing. With DuckDuckGo’s Privacy at a Glance, it was interesting seeing how many third party trackers and cookies are employed on the several sites I visit regularly. Sites use trackers to create a data profile about users and are harmful because they can track and target users across more of the internet. With the Didn’t Read extension, I was made aware of several sites terms and service and their lack of important issues that need users attention. Both extensions brought to my attention the potential harm that browsing the internet can do and explained the things to be aware of concerning the terms and services.
When visiting major sites like YouTube, I learned about their poor privacy practices and how much of my personal information that I share is actually being protected. With the privacy protection disabled, the grade for Youtube was a D. There were 8 trackers found with top offenders being google and facebook. It’s crazy to think so many other sites have access to my personal and private information every time I visit their site. It was also very beneficial having the Didn’t Read extension on YouTube. When I’m browsing sites such as youtube and Instagram, I often overlook the terms and service section, but the extension allowed me to better understand the site’s terms of service and things I have overlooked or not taking into consideration when browsing the site. YouTube can change their terms anytime at their discretion, but when visiting the site there is a notification saying they have done so.
One site I am considering using for WP3 is Revolve, an online shopping site. This is a site I regularly use and do not always think about the harms it could bring regarding my privacy while browsing the site. After using the extensions on the site I have learned about the various trackers used on the site that create a data profile for users to create advertisements on other sites. With the site’s goal to be to sell their product, it makes sense as to why users information would be shared across multiple networks. I could be on the revolve website and view a product and moments later when I open my Instagram app those same items will appear as an add saying “buy it before its too late”. These tactics are used among almost all shopping sites with the goal to reach users to buy their products. It’s crazy to think so many other sites have this information!
Another site I am considering using is YouTube, a site I constantly find myself browsing. Like I mentioned, I often if not always overlook the Terms and Service section in any site. After using the extensions I was made aware of the poor processes of personal information on the site and that they can remove your content at any time without prior notice. I was also made aware of the trackers on the site and the “bad privacy practices” used.
Overall, it was extremely interesting and eye-opening to see how internet sites have the ability to do so much without users notice and share private information across other sites.