Companies need to stop manipulating consumer data

Due to technological advancements, it has become the norm for companies to obtain data to tweak users’ feed or homepage with advertisements that are relevant to search or purchase history. 

Eduardo Rangel | The Poly Post

Although this may be convenient for the user, it’s inappropriate for companies to sort through data to manipulate advertisements. 

In a lot of ways, what we do on our phones and how we navigate the web is private. But there are concepts to consider when utilizing such technology. 

So far, technology has leaped bounds since the 2000s. Mankind is dedicated to make improvements to advance society further. 

As a result, we can pretty much find any information we want on the web. Although every bit of information may not be available on the web, the internet has come a long way to provide access. Yet, this privilege is prone to all sorts of malpractices. 

Granted, user data is important when it comes to performing certain tasks on the web. 

Such as, when you log in on a site, your information will already be inputted. 

You don’t have to go through the hassle of remembering login information. However, this privilege of obtaining user data can provide leeway for companies to tailor your feed. 

While our data is used to provide a more satisfying experience, it’s not clear how our data is used.

Consider this: You walk into a store and buy a product. You swipe your card and you go about your day. 

Later, you log onto Instagram, Facebook or YouTube and you find an advertisement that is similar to the product you bought. How did that come about? 

Well, your recent purchase established the content of the advertisement. If you pay attention to the advertisements, you may find them tailored according to your search history and purchases. 

While this experience is “harmless,” it’s very manipulative as it can make you form an opinion based on what you see. 

In the same instance, this practice is problematic for the receiver. If you think about it, companies are handling data in order to shove more products down our throat. 

It’s weird and uncomfortable to have companies utilize data in order to suggest more products. 

I understand targeted advertisements are tailored to users’ needs, but it seems as if companies don’t care about how data is utilized. 

There are companies that will sell your information. If you buy from a store and you provide your phone number, you will probably receive marketing calls for a month. 

It’s really unnerving to know that our data is utilized as “products” and not something of “value.” After all, I reckon everyone values his or her privacy.  

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