The latter is a digital stalker that lays free and brightly colored technology candy in front of a user while collecting personal information about their online usage habits. We call it tracking, but it’s really stalking. You’re being hunted like jungle prey where the thrill for the hunter is to keep you alive while draining you of data.
How are you being tracked? Why are you being tracked?
The why is simple. Money. Google is less of a technology company than it is a giant advertising company which makes its riches by gathering information beneficial to advertisers, so that supposedly relevant information can be placed in front of your eyeballs to entice you to, well, spend money.
Most websites you visit likely are tracking you through Google’s advertisements and partners, as well as Google’s Analytics which tracks where you are online, which website pages you visit, how often you visit, what device you’re using, and where you are physically. With a few billion earthlings now traversing the internet that’s a lot of collected data and another reason why Google is so rich.
Facebook works much the same way but is more of a closed entity with 1.5-billion earthlings being tracked by advertisers. Much of the content you’ll see on Facebook– which gets shared among users endless times a day– is created specifically to keep you hooked onto Facebook, which has become something of a Disneyland for social interaction. On the surface it seems safe and friendly, but underneath you are being stalked.
By advertisers and Facebook.
What do you get in return for all the blatant tracking and stalking? Ads. Ads aimed at you. Advertisers get richer at your expense. What do you get in return?
You may have noticed a few changes to Bohemian Boomer recently. First, I dropped Google Analytics. Then I dropped Google AdSense ads in favor of advertisers with products and sponsorships relevant to my readers. What you won’t find on Boomer today is an advertising tracker. In fact, no trackers at all. Just my day-to-day ramblings on the Apple world. If you want to see how much you’re being tracked online then install Ghostery on your browser. It’s free and as you browse it can list– and block, if you want– all or most online advertiser tracking, but either way, it will list tracking mechanisms on each website you visit.
What you’ll notice with Ghostery on Boomer is a complete lack of tracking so you’re safe during your visit here. No trackers. No cookie. And a couple of relevant advertisements. I think that’s a good balance, and a definite alternative to being stalked.