The companies are legally bound to make the cookie expire after certain period of time. The data the cookie gathers and transfers to home server is stored for 24 months in majority of cases. Some companies keep the information much longer. The data accumulates for a very long time, and it may very well be that some information of you from a while ago still exist on the Internet. In addition, criminals from the Dark Web black markets are after data. And that’s why majority of cybersecurity companies uses the term “Internet never forgets”.
Who else is Tracking Me Online?
Each user is different with unique interests and habits. Each website you visit has a certain tracker or two in the background. They are not all placing cookies in your Web Browser, but nonetheless, are still monitoring the performance of their ad.
It may not be the website you visit but the third party companies they have partnered with. The data collected by the website you visited is shared further down the line. These may include: third-party partners, such as marketers, integration partners, pixel partners and resellers.
Despite the general belief that only advertising companies are the online trackers, there are few other online entities performing the same task.
Data Brokers and Data Miners
Data Brokers trade with data instead of the stocks and bonds. Data brokers are individuals much like private detectives. These individuals gather the data online as well as offline.
What exactly are they collecting? Data Brokers often refer to themselves as database marketers or consumer data analytics firms. They gather the information of an individual as a consumer.
The online gathering is searching for any clue or information that can identify the individual as well as to describe their interest or hobbies. The more unique and detailed report the more it costs.
The offline data is something that is not acquired easily. These include police reports or any legal information. Majority of Data Brokers will pay someone to acquire that information instead of them.
Curious users purchased their own data. The results received show that they sell the data on average person for closely $50. This in general depends on amount of information. Some have confirmed that it is all there in details, and some that information is distorted.
What is in the reports?
– Street address
– Email address
– Social media accounts
– Recent searches or likes
– Credit scores
– Property records
– Court records
– Driver’s license and motor vehicle records
– Census data
– Birth certificates
– Marriage licenses
– Divorce records
– State professional and recreational license records
– Voter registration information
– Bankruptcy records
As with major companies even data brokers merge their gathered information with others. They have an opt-out service. To delete data from their website permanently costs $129 a year.
The Data Mining Companies are much similar. The firms gather large amounts of data and analyzing the raw material. Data mining is the analytical process of discovering patterns in large data sets involving methods of machine learning, statistics, and database systems.
Some of these companies include:
– Oracle data Mining
– Portrait Software
– Quantum Leap Innovations
People Search Websites
If you have been looking for a long lost relative, ancestor or school friend, the chance is your data is still on the Internet. Majority of people searching websites are storing all the data. Anything you have submitted is stored away on their servers.
Some of these websites have an opt-out service as well:
– White Pages.