Have you ever wondered what companies do with the data they collect from you? While stricter data laws continue to be introduced, it is a good idea to learn more about how your data is used.
Here, we’ll look at what companies do with your data and the main things you need to know.
Assess Your Location
One of the main things companies do with the data they collect, is use it to assess your location. This even applies when you turn off GPS location tracking. They can track your location in a number of ways, including through your IP address.
While they claim the data is still anonymous, it can be worrying knowing your location is being tracked. Mostly, companies use this information for better targeted ads and services. For example, location data is used to supply information on local businesses.
Sharing Data with Affiliates
While laws are getting stricter over how data can be shared, it doesn’t stop companies selling information to third parties. This can be done for a number of reasons. For the company selling your data, it’s purely for monetary benefit. However, for the people collecting the information, it’s to help them with their marketing.
You’ll often notice that when you’re asked to agree to terms and conditions on apps and websites, it states your information may be passed on to third parties. So, pay attention the next time you are presented with a data collection notice and see how your information will be used.
By far the most common thing companies do with your data is to use it for advertising purposes. They collect data to give them a better understanding of their target market and the popularity of the products and services they offer.
Once they have the data, they can use it to better target their audience. They can make improvements to their products and services if needed too. So, mostly the data collected about you is used in a safe, uncompromising way. However, there are risks that come with sharing data that you should always be aware of.
The Risks of Sharing Data
Although there are specific laws relating to how data can be stored and shared, there are still risks you need to be aware of. Criminals are constantly looking to get their hands on consumer data. So, there is a risk your information could be sold to the wrong people. This is a very low risk, but it’s still something to be aware of.
Some types of data can also pose a risk of revealing your identity. Location data can be easy enough to track, potentially giving away where you go each day and where your primary residence is.
Overall, companies collect a lot of different data from their customers and website visitors. Most of the time it is innocently used for marketing purposes. However, the way in which data can be used does pose some security risks you should absolutely be aware of.