When it comes to personal information security, many people think they’ve got it covered – but what if datafication changes how we protect ourselves online?

Like it or not, the arrival of the internet has changed life as we know it. With Web 3.0, or the third generation of the internet, in the process of being rolled out, capabilities like Semantic Web, AI, and machine learning all have the potential to revolutionise the digital landscape.

Although it may sound like something out of The Matrix, these new age forms of technology embrace datafication, which is more or less the process of turning people into numbers. In addition, it’s probably already happening to you, and you don’t even know it. 

How To Combat Datafication With Privacy 

The relationships between collective and individual, between group and person, and between public and private, are fundamental to shaping our societies. However, the very nature of these relationships have changed, and are increasingly being played out in terms of data – its production, flow, reuse and commodification. In simple terms, datafication is the term we apply to this process. 

Across the world, a wide variety of regulatory, scientific and societal frameworks have been introduced to govern and modulate these processes. As an example, there are influential privacy laws or data protection regulations, such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that shape who can collect which information, for which purposes, and who has a say in this. 

If data has now become a form of information that has value, how do brands and businesses embrace datafication on a day to day basis? While data has long been used as one of the pillars of customer relationship management, like everything else, it’s gone digital. Have you ever wondered why you get hounded across cyberspace by a product or service that you might have only looked at once before? 

There’s a reason why almost every website you visit wants you to accept their “cookies”, as these are one of many ways that brands collect your personal information, and weaponise it to coax you into a sale. Cross platform campaigns use cookies, or the data pulled from a website that tracks your online behaviour, to market to you on other platforms such as social media.

In fact, Netflix is a prime example of the datafication process. While the platform provides services in more than forty countries and thirty three million streaming members, the core function of how the streaming service works is by recommending films and television series to its users based on what they’ve already consumed. 

While banks and insurance companies have long used data to form risk profiles, and is unavoidable if you want to get approved, the good news is that there are other ways to approach personal information security and datafication when going about your business online.

If you’ve ever felt like someone’s watching you when using the internet, there’s a high chance that they probably are. While internet tracking isn’t exactly a new concept, the good news is that many smartphones, laptops and tablets offer protections and a chance to “opt out” of the datafication process.

Some of the most common ways users can be tracked are through IP addresses, cursor tracking software, cross-tracking (information from several different devices under one owner), accounts that are visited frequently via devices, and your internet search history. Many devices now have a “do not track” function in the settings, so don’t be afraid to turn this on and limit how much information you’re sharing.

In addition, pay attention to what you’re allowing access to. On mobile devices, disable location services when they are unneeded and not in use. When using a computer, go into your internet browser and comb through the sites that may have permission to track you. Although it may come as a surprise, don’t forget about your smart TV either, and opt-out of apps and services that you may not want monitoring your activity. Above all, when visiting a new website, simply click “no” when you’re asked for permission to collect cookies.

One easy way to tackle personal information security is to make sure that the software on your devices is all up to date. If your tech is sluggish or isn’t performing at it’s best, it might be worth further investigation to determine if a repair or upgrade is necessary. 

Talk Tech With The Professionals

SOS Phone Repairs are specialists in high-quality, cost-effective phone repairs, tablet repairs, and PC repairs, all backed with a six month warranty. Founded in 2015 in Coffs Harbour and now with over sixteen outlets located all over Australia, our primary driving factors remain the same: people and phones. 

If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, SOS Phone Repairs also stocks a wide variety of refurbished handsets at a fraction of the cost of a brand new one. While each has been carefully restored to perform at their best, all refurbished smartphones purchased through SOS also come with a twelve month warranty, and can be purchased at any of our sixteen store locations.  

If you are on the hunt for a quote, diagnostic, or even just some good old fashioned, friendly advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or give us a call today at SOS Phone Repairs. 

How Datafication Is Changing Information Security2