What do we get when we choose free?
Have you ever thought your cellphone could identify who you are just by looking at it? Today it can because we live in a world where the internet of things has made anything possible all for a free cost.
Speaking at the EF Hutton Talks Conference Series on Monday, June 25th Ted Claypoole, a lawyer from Womble Bond Dickinson in Atlanta, Georgia, shared his knowledge of the cost of free internet use.
“We’ve had a revolution in the cost of storage,” Claypoole said. “The cost of storing all this media has gone down, therefore use much more information than we used to have.”
Unlike 25 years ago when our personal information such as address, phone numbers and names of family members were hardly accessible. Today, it’s just a few clicks away.
“You have a whole life online that you didn’t have,” said Claypoole.
When you share information with your online circle of friends, you may be opening your world up to complete strangers. Anyone could potentially access the names of your kids, what they look like, where they go to school, where you work, or even where you live.
Unless you want that information exposed beyond that circle, Claypoole recommends keeping your social media on a private setting.
Corporate access to your personal data doesn’t just apply to social media, but your devices, too.
Now you can be tracked as you shop around your favorite store, your X-Box knows who is in the room with you and your cellphone can identify your face. Some TV’s even have cameras that can see inside your home and can communicate with your other devices.
“Companies are using subsonic signals to let your smart TV send out a signal to your phone, which if it has the right application, will send a signal back to the TV,” Claypoole said. “Then that way whoever is taking the advertising right then will know not only are you the person who has the smart TV, you’re the same person who has the smartphone.”
But, if that’s not scary enough, have you ever wondered what happens to your payment information when you make an online purchase?
Claypoole shared that the United States currently has no law against who uses that data. Unlike in Europe where newly approved GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law protects online shoppers by not allowing any payment information and addresses to be used elsewhere other than the transaction.
In today’s world, we have free access to anything which means companies have free access to our information. Whether you’re using social media, have a new device, or shopping online, it’s important to remember that you and your personal information are products, too.
“Keep in mind that when you don’t know what the product is because you’re not paying for it, you’re the product and that is how businesses look at things online,” said Claypoole.