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New Study Shows How Several Companies Collect Your Data Illegally

Collecting data from users is a decidedly controversial type of thing for the vast majority of companies to end up doing, but they keep coming up with unique ways to get the data that they require to earn a profit. You might think that major tech companies would never do something illegal to collect data even though they do unethical things on a more or less regular basis, but the truth is that they definitely do illegal data collection on occasion.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that both Facebook as well as Google were fined in 2021 for collecting data illegally. This illegal method involved making it easier to accept tracking cookies rather than to reject them, something that the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Liberté took issue with and fined both companies for having done so. The companies had to hand over a total of over 200 million Euros between them as a result of these illegal data mining attempts.

This highlights one of the biggest problems with cookies that several institutions have been worried about for quite some time now. A study of 50 major websites has revealed that 70% of them are in violation of the data protection laws that have been enacted in the EU, and that is something that will likely cause a wide range of problems down the line.

A lot of these companies make accepting cookies a one click option, whereas you would have to make several clicks in order to reject them. Twitter is another social media platform that does not obey these laws when it comes to trying to get users to consent to cookies, but it should be noted that social media platforms are not the only culprits in this regard. Airline sites such as Ryanair.com and the popular news site for the Daily Mail were both found to break data collection laws that apply in the EU as well as the UK.

While Facebook and Google try to hide the reject cookies option, Twitter does not offer one at all instead showing a banner that informs users that they consent to cookies if they use the site in the first place. Other sites like Spotify and even the BBC allow browsing without consenting to cookies but they make the cookie banner so large that it renders the site unusable. These are issues that will need to be ironed out moving forward and companies that own websites need to become a lot more responsible with regards to how they obtain data from the people that use their sites.


H/T: TC. / Illustration: Sentavio / Freepik

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