Web Privacy is getting worse, not better.
Using an app like “Little Snitch” can help. But it also reveals hundreds of connections that take place when one first opens a browser application. Apps like Little Snitch monitor, and block, and also asks first if you set it up that way…the connection attempts that are going on behind the scenes when using internet browsers, and email and social media.
Pretty much anything you do when connected involves a potential connection to another data seeking “party” online. This is true whether one is using a desktop or a mobile device, or even your TV if it’s online at all. Or your HVAC, or your Amazon Echo, and new Apple HomePod device.Your ISP is collecting data all the time, to say nothing of secret government monitoring, criminal monitoring/ hacking, and even google email which was recently spanked for analyzing Gmail messages for advertiser specialization.
Some of this traffic is actually built into the apps and devices by the device creators…or app creators…and some is third-party hunters for our data. As this New York Times article shows through some of the links…a website can know pretty much everything you are doing on that page. And a whole lot more.
Perhaps knowing about this is better than not knowing, but can we realistically shut it all down? A number of functions on a very capable TV are not available to me, until I agree to their terms of service, which opens a spigot of outgoing data on everything I watch on that TV. So far I’ve gotten away with not saying yes, but the same data is probably going out from other devices, such as Roku, Apple TV, and Blu-Ray player with WiFi.
OTOH, just as with other kinds of security…it’s a cat and mouse game…and there may be vendors who will supply us with needed data “safes” to store our personal data we don’t want to share. And of course, we especially don’t want to share without our agreement, and without our knowledge.