Preventing web tracking based on online habits

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Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) –

The FCC has passed new rules to protect your privacy. They require broadband providers to get customers’ explicit consent before sharing their information and habits with marketers, but providers aren’t the only ones using your information to sell things.

Every post you make, each comment you leave, and even those boots you’ve been looking at online; websites are keeping track of it all.

David Westerman- NDSU Communication Professor: “Facebook’s algorithms is going to prioritize certain things on your newsfeed based on what you’ve liked and things you’ve responded to favorably.”

Web-giant Google says it keeps track of things you search for, videos you watch, and even information about the device you use.

Bailey Ducommon- Facebook User: “I play volleyball here and there’s a volley ball scholarship”

Google makes tens of billions each year selling targeted ads.

Websites like Facebook and Google share information, creating a tailor-made experience. For example, if I were to search for Carson Wentz, I might find Philadelphia Eagles content on other websites.

But Facebook doesn’t just use your information for marketing.

Those suggested friends? Many are based on your GPS location and who’s nearby. Spend an hour within a mile of someone, and they could show up in your suggestions.

Ducommon: “No mutual friends or anything and they’ll just pop up and it’s really creepy”

If all this data sharing has you creeped, you can opt out.

Google and Facebook let you limit ad tracking and hide your location in your privacy settings.

Both Facebook and Google say they do not sell users’ personal information.

They say data sold is strictly based on online behavior.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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