Nowadays, technology is everywhere. With all the electronic devices we use every day for many different tasks, it’s hard to do something without using one. There’s always an app on your cellphone to help you with anything you have to do. But apps are not just useful for us, they’re also really lucrative for the companies who make them.
With these apps, it’s easy for the companies to collect information about the habits and the tastes of their users. With that, they can improve and personalize their products or services to reach more people. It can be sometimes disturbing to think about all the things these companies know about us and how they use the data they collect. Could they use it against me? Is it secured? How many people and companies have access to my information? Do they have complete control on them? It’s normal to be preoccupied by these questions and thoughts. We’re just starting to realize the impact of technology on our privacy and many people are concerned about how easy it is for companies to know almost everything about us. Even if it’s hard to believe there are positive things about this.
Companies improve and personalize their products and services according to what they know about us. Even if they do it to earn more, we still get things adapted to our lifestyles and our tastes. For example, it can be useful to see ads about stuff that matches our interests, so we can know about products we would actually purchase.
It can also be really useful in politics. With the data they collect, companies and government can know about the opinions and values of the citizens. It can therefore help know what people dislike, what they want and what the priorities are. In a way, data gathering combined with social media could be the most efficient way to do democracy.
It’s also important to understand how companies deal with the information they get from us. Many companies put a lot of efforts on how they’ll get information, so they want to be sure that the data is in a safe place and is not available to everyone. Data gathering actually requires physical space called “data centers” to stock electronic devices that manage the information. Some of the big companies have their own data centers. The other ones can share spaces created and operated by specialists. There are actually many data centers in Canada for companies that need them. With their help, the data is really safe and will be only accessed by selected people.