Analysts from Clario.co have analyzed what personal data the world’s biggest brands are collecting to discover which company knows the most about us. The top brands who track us the most were listed in Clario’s “league table”. Many of us click ‘accept’ on a cookie pop-up without reading any of the information. What data are we giving up everytime we click ‘accept’? What do companies do with that data?
What data can companies actually collect? The kind of data companies can collect ranges from the things you might expect – like your name, date of birth and email address – to the more obscure, like your pets, hobbies, height, weight. They can also store your bank information, as well as links to your social media accounts and the data you share on them. All this information is further used for targeted advertising purposes.
The league table of brands who track us the most
93.75% of companies will request and store your email address to be used to stay in touch or for future marketing. Social media collects more data than anybody else. Top of the list for data collectors is Facebook. As a social network, they depend on you giving them access to all your details so they can recommend friends to you, let people know it’s your birthday, suggest groups for you to join and, most importantly, advertise to you. Instagram comes next in the list. The Facebook-owned app collects 58.82% of all available data, such as your hobbies, height, weight and sexual orientation. They use most of this information for advertising and recommending accounts you should follow. Dating app Tinder collects 55.88% of available data to help match you with your perfect partner. They know about your age, sexual orientation, height, interests and if you own a pet. However, beyond trying to get you coupled up, Tinder also tracks how you use different social media platforms and stores all the messages you send to matches. This information can be used to target you with advertisements and products. Music streaming site, Spotify, collects 35.29% of your data, tapping into your social media profiles to understand your interests and hobbies. If you’ve ever been to a gig and shared a photo of it on Instagram, you’ll soon find that band in your Spotify recommendations. They also track the music you listen to, enabling them to create playlists based on the kind of thing you like. Likewise, Netflix tracks the kind of shows you watch to recommend similar titles. Spotify and Netflix are good examples of data collection. They use the information they learn about you to make your experience better.