I’m so lucky to live in California, on the Left Coast, where my online privacy is now protected by law. The California Consumer Privacy Act is in full effect and it’s sort of terrifying me to realize my paranoia about the sinister inter-web has been valid.
Now every website I visit has a giant pop up banner announcing its compliance with the law. And where I formerly clicked away (yes, yes, cookies, got it) I’m now scrolling down to opt out of allowing retailers and glamor blogs alike from selling my private details.
The verbage on each website confesses that they’ve been harvesting my data for sale to third parties.
Since I am a California resident, they will offer me the chance to opt out of this data collection/sale, everything from global location to employment history and, this is what really bothers me, “inferences drawn about your preferences”.
What inferences and which preferences? All imaginable combinations, I’m sure.
My sneaker shopping has been affording the dark web inferences about my sexuality? My blog trips, inferences re: politics? Good grief, I can only imagine how my IG clicks are painting me!
A dozen years ago I worked at a museum and Development (with a big, sinister D) told me that I needed to create a full profile for each person who bought a ticket. Address, email, the whole enchilada.
Why? The indignant visitors asked.
For “security” purposes, I was told to answer.
It was so we could sell that information to a fellow museum.
Scandalous and invasive, you betcha! Now, we just clatter and thumb away, ticking off whichever boxes gets us the coupon, subscription or shorteralls of our dreams.
In 2019, I knew that my email address did not only equal a 10% coupon off white hot denim looks! I knew I’d be getting spam forever. I didn’t really care because I didn’t think I had any choice. Not if it meant getting to the good stuff faster! Just get me my advice about hydrolysed collagen powers and the scoop on Megan and Harry.
Two months into 2020 and I think we all understand that anything we choose to opt out of is probably being harvested in another way.