Moral Outrage
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Your every move is being tracked digitally

The Wall Street Journal ran a terrific series of stories called “What They Know.” The general subject was personal privacy—or the lack of it—in the digital world. The first article in the series explained how websites routinely track your movements on the web and collect a genuinely astonishing amount of personal information about you in the process. The Journal examined 50 sites using a test computer and discovered that these sites collectively installed a total of 3,180 tracking files—an average of 63 tracking files per site:

Some tracking files can record a person’s keystrokes online and then transmit the text to a data-gathering company that analyzes it for content, tone and clues to a person’s social connections. They enabled data-gathering companies to build personal profiles that could include age, gender, race, zip code, income, marital status and health concerns, along with recent purchases and favorite TV shows and movies.

The Journal’s full package of privacy articles is here, and they’re well worth browsing through. It includes pieces that explain web tracking, cell phone monitoring, how much these tracking services know about you, the role of big companies like Google and Microsoft, and even advice on how to avoid tracking. You can’t avoid it all, but there are things you can do to minimize it.

[ Mother Jones]

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