I am an extremely private person. I don’t broadcast my location, I use privacy tools to keep advertisers from tracking me, and almost never give any app access to Facebook. Of course, a lot of people don’t have a problem with living publicly. I’ve always wondered what the benefits and downfalls of doing so are, so I decided to give it a three-week test run. Here’s how it went.
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of your privacy because your data is often used for ads you don’t know about, logged in databases you’ve never heard of, and used to find out where you are and what you’re doing. Some of the things I consider “radical public living” experiments are probably commonplace to you, but even so, my experience may give you a better insight into what you’re gaining—and potentially losing—with your choices. Let’s start by looking at my experiences with location-sharing every move I made and then move on to the data collected by my browser. Finally, we’ll close by handing all this information over to a third party and seeing what type of demographic picture gets formed.
Broadcasting Every Move In the Real World
Location-sharing apps like Foursquare have been popular for a while, but I’ve never ventured down that path because I didn’t like the idea of my friends (and strangers) knowing where I was, what I was eating, or who I was with. It just seems like an odd thing to broadcast to the world to me. However, I picked a few apps and started doing it anyway. Here’s a breakdown of what I signed up for: