18 Ways Companies Use Your Data (Without Your Knowledge)
First-party data is information that businesses get from visitors to their own website. Let's say you're a manufacturer and you sell widgets. If someone visits your website, you can use first-party data to keep advertising to that person even after they click away. That's called retargeting. Hilton, the hotelier with a variety of brands in its stable, launched its own data center for "advanced analytics and actionable insights" in 2017, and so did Marriott and its Starwood loyalty program.
Viber, which allows its users to make free texts, has done a lot to redeem itself recently, such as promising extra security and assuring that data belongs only to users. But in the past the company has been blasted for storing unencrypted data on its servers instead of deleting it immediately, and it merges with address books and retains that info even after users disable access. While Viber promise not to sell information to third parties, it won't promise not to share it. Hmmm.
A phone's GPS is a tracking device. Walk into a store, let a phone pick up the Wi-Fi, and retailers can watch shopping behavior, literally following a person around to see how they react to merchandise. Some stores, such as Macy's, will even send "welcome" notifications to shoppers entering their store. The good news: It will also send discount coupons.
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