Every hour of every day, our digital interactions are being recorded and logged. We live in the age of “big data,” where seemingly mundane information about how we go about our lives has enormous value.
With the help of expert data trackers, we follow the information trail of an ordinary family. We follow their data over a typical day, watching as it is surreptitiously recorded by government agencies and private organizations. Who gathers the information, what are they doing with it and what are your legal rights?
The internet has brought us conveniences once unimaginable. You can shop online, diagnose illnesses, and send “selfies” whenever you want. But it isn't all one-way traffic. Every time you use a search engine like Google, or access an “app” on your smartphone, your activity is logged by companies around the world — many you've never even heard of. That sometimes intensely personal data is either used or sold to make money.
Our investigation reveals that not only are we being tracked online by marketers but government agencies are secretly monitoring our digital travels.