February 5, 2012

The Do Not Track movement is useless

... or why privacy is your own responsibility

The Do Not Track movement (donottrack.us) is, according to their website

"a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt out of tracking by websites they do not visit"

and from a recent article in USA Today, How Facebook tracks you across the web we find out the following

"Facebook's efforts to track the browsing habits of visitors to its site have made the company a player in the "Do Not Track" debate, which focuses on whether consumers should be able to prevent websites from tracking the consumers' online activity."

Companies like Facebook, Google, etc have a vested interest in finding out as much information about EVERYTHING you do. That's how they make money. So any movement that proposes these companies self-regulate and take more care of our privacy needs is simply useless.

Even if regulation was passed forcing these companies to allow users to opt out of tracking, that doesn't mean it wouldn't still occur.

The donottrack.us website also mentions that

"Several large third parties have already committed to honor Do Not Track ... "

So what? Does that mean anything really?

What do you know about what they do with this information even if they "committed" to work against their own self and business interests by not tracking you?

I'll tell you. Absolutely nothing!

Do you have a signed contract with them that says they can never track you? Is there an actual law that prevents them from tracking you? No? Then stop daydreaming.

When it comes to personal privacy and security, you can't outsource it (especially to those who have an interest in your lack of privacy). There's no easy way.

So if you care about your privacy, educate yourself and protect yourself.