that's normal blog your unchained bike is safer than your data

Your Unchained Bike is Safer than your Data

How companies are profiting off your information

Part 3 | Reading Time: 4 minutes
By Ian Bin
User data privacy. Chances are you’ve heard someone talking about companies selling your data for “market research” or “optimizing user experience.” This is absolutely a true statement, but it’s just a fraction of what companies are legally allowed to do with your information. Some people will read this and not bat an eye, because in-the-moment the benefits of giving up your data outweigh the potential for risk. For the rest of us who do care about data privacy, we’re going through a quick introduction on what some companies are doing, what you can do to avoid the concerning behavior, and areas that are unavoidable (short of going off-grid).

Your data = market share

In the grand scheme of things, the biggest action taken using your data is advertising in some way, shape, or form. Companies want to take up as much of your thoughts as they can. This is called market share. When you need a new phone, what companies first come to mind? If you thought of any specific company, then they have your market share. They do this by bombarding you with ads from every angle possible.
One of those angles is based on your location. Have you ever walked into a fast-food restaurant, got on your phone, and noticed you started seeing ads for another popular fast-food restaurant? Location-based advertising, or geofencing, uses your GPS data to decide what ads you see. Like I said before, a lot of people don’t really have a big problem with practices like this, but if you’re more aware of what’s going on, it’s easier to avoid bad financial decisions.
Luckily for the consumer, states like California have been pushing new state laws to protect its citizens from more predatory practices using user data. This isn’t enough to fully protect you, but it helps.

Ways you can better protect your user data

Read the terms

Unless you completely trust the company or don’t care that much, don’t blindly accept terms and conditions.

Monitor your mobile games

If there’s a mobile game that seems a little fishy, chances are it’s collecting your user data, and phones are the easiest device to gather from.

Investigate the use of information

In some cases, state laws require companies to disclose how the information collected will be used if the consumer asks. Use this to your advantage.

Stick with companies that protect your data

A lot of financial firms are nervous about the data privacy laws; can you guess why? In a 2019 survey, top executives claimed that data privacy regulations were their top concern due to potential fines incurred and complications around conforming to these regulations (psssstt, we at 3Nickels don’t sell your data so we aren’t too worried about breaking regulations).

Your data is powerful

For those of you who didn’t hear me whispering that last bit of valuable information, our app and our company don’t sell your data. We keep any user data from our app protected from outside sources and only use it to continue to improve our product. Stay informed. Your data is powerful.

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