Have you ever googled yourself to see where your identity lives online? Unless you are a celebrity, or a spammer, your results may seem sparse, at best. So, how do big data companies make money tracking the online behavior of ordinary people?
One organization, Trackography, has created tools to expose the big data operations tracking you online. Even better, Trackography’s companion project, My Shadow, helps ordinary people control their own data.
Extracted from https://myshadow.org/trackography
What is online tracking?
Have you ever read a newspaper and noticed a stranger reading it over your shoulder? Reading the news online is like having Google, Facebook, or Twitter doing the same thing. Known as “third party trackers”, these companies collect data about who you are, what you’re reading and what you’re interested in, usually without you ever knowing it.
What is Trackography?
Trackography is an open source project of Tactical Tech that aims to increase transparency about the online data industry by illustrating who tracks us online and where our data travels to when we access websites. In particular, Trackography shows:
- the companies that track us
- the countries which host the servers of the websites we access
- the countries which host the servers of tracking companies
- the countries which host the network infrastructure required to reach the servers of websites and tracking companies
- information about how some of the “globally prevailing tracking companies” handle our data based on their privacy policies.
Extracted from https://myshadow.org/self-doxing-exploring-you-visible-data-traces
Self-doxing: exploring your visible data traces
Taking a deeper look at your visible online footprint can be a first step toward taking more control over your data and managing your online identity/identities
Most of us have probably searched our own name at some point. But search engines don’t pick up everything. Investigating yourself on the internet is also known as ‘self-doxing’, and it can be a very useful way to see what’s already out there about you, and make decisions for the future
Once you’ve doxed yourself, take a critical look at the data, think about what a stranger may be able to figure out with just a little effort. You might want to keep certain things private or separate your online identities.
Extracted from https://myshadow.org/trace-my-shadow
Trace My Shadow
Trace my shadow is a tool that allows you to get a glimpse into the digital traces you’re leaving – how many, what kinds, and from what devices.
Start by selecting the device and services that you use. See how many traces you leave and what you can do take control of you traces.