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Who Have You Given Access to Your Information?

IncognitoWe are already so into The Matrix, and nobody seems to much mind–yet!

I really get annoyed at the enormous extent to which Google, Twitter, and Facebook (especially) track everything we do online, build online profiles about us (including our current mood, reading and writing grade levels–I’m not kidding), and sell that information to marketing. They embed cookies in your browsers that track and transmit this data on your desktop machines, laptops, and even handheld devices. This is one of  the real reason Google wants you to have only one userID and log in password. This is one of the reasons why Facebook allows numerous websites to use your Facebook userID and password as login credentials to those other websites. They want to collect everything they can about you.

And if you think that “private browsing” protects you from their tracking, you are very mistaken. Apps on your handheld devices and phones even upload your entire address book onto their servers without your ever knowing they are collecting your private information.

I recently came across an extension for my Safari browser that claims to block or at least limit their ability to do this. The name of the software is Incognito by Orbicule. I think this only works on the Safari Browser. I suggest you check it out.

And while you’re at it, you probably would be stunned beyond belief to learn how many applications and software vendors you have given access to your information on commonly used sites. May I highly recommend you spend just a couple of minutes to see who has access to what. Simply go to MyPermissions. Click on each web site icon, and you will see who has permission to use your data. I revoked literally hundreds of permissions, denying those software vendors access to my information.

While it’s probably already too late, we need a national discussion about online privacy and privacy policy that protects us from the prying eyes of corporate America.