Technology abounds in our everyday lives, whether it is home, work or play, there is some sort of electronic thing happening.  We are basically carrying a small laptop computer in our phones, it never leaving our hand or pocket, every hour of the day.  But how much is that technology tracking you and telling other people exactly what you do, where you are and what you are buying?  It might surprise you.

What Exactly Are These Apps Looking for from Us?

Data collection isn't anything new.  Ever filled out a survey in person?  Data collection.  Answered a few questions over the phone?  Data collection.  Downloaded an app to shop at your favorite grocery store?  Data collection.  It helps the business better cater to you, the consumer, and it allows you to breeze through the checkout line just a little faster.  Being able to service a customer isn't a bad thing, but the data collection might seem a little intrusive.

Mostly data is collected for the originator's use.  Things like your education level, how many people are in your household, your income, even how many pets you have.  They are even able to track gender, ethnicity, race and purchase history.

How Worried Should You Be in Regard to Data Collection?

While most data collected stays with the company, such as Walmart or Albertsons, they do sell that data at times to data brokers or other advertising technology companies.

Depending on how much data you prefer to share, there are a couple of options for you to keep track of what is tracking you.  When downloading the app, make sure to read your ToS, the terms of service conditions.  Know exactly what they are gathering from you and whether that information will be shared.  Make sure you review the options in the app, you may be able to turn off some of the tracking that is occurring.  Or just not install the app.

But how would I know when I need more beer?  Or eggs?

Are you concerned about being tracked with apps?  Let us know in the comments or email me here.

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