Who’s Tracking You Online?

Aroosa Malik, Photojournalist

You might not have been aware of this before, but you are currently being tracked. Yes. From browsing clothes on Tilly’s to purchasing a book on Amazon, information is being gathered about you every time you click the mouse.  Scary, right?


Companies can freely access your online habits. How, you make ask?  By inserting your cookies, they can save information about their visitors. By doing so, marketing companies can determine your personal finances, religious beliefs, political affiliation, race, ethnic background, even health problems.


Shelby Emami (10) believes that ” spying is an invasion to our privacy” and that ” it is ridiculous that companies have to go through such nonsense to find out who we are.”


The tracking is primarily used for marketing purposes. This helps companies target what a consumer likes and dislikes about the company’s product. However, the abusive side about this is that your “online profile” can be shared to sites for “insurance companies, financial institutions, landlords and prospective employers” (nbcnews.com). With the information being unregulated, no one knows where the “online profile”  is, who has it, whom it has been shared to, and who can use it.


Therefore, the Obama administration pushes Congress to pass a ” Privacy Bill of Rights” to require online companies to tell the user what information has been collected and for what the information is going to be used for. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission wants Congress to design a “Do Not Track” so the user can tell companies that they do not want to be tracked of their history. This easy to use program will benefit many users online from the companies tracking system. Although it will not solve the privacy invasion, it does leave the users a choice to opt out of company’s system.


However, certain data, such as financial information, should be kept off limits, unless the user grants the company permission to keep that data.


Always be careful when typing information onto the Internet. You don’t know who is tracking you. At this very minute. At this very second.