You probably know that Facebook and Google are strip-mining you like West Virginia for online data, but that’s just part of the story. NPR’s All Things Considered is trying to provide the rest of it in its series Your Digital Trail.

Tuesday’s installment:

Your Digital Trail: Private Company Access

This is the second story in our four-part series examining your digital trail and who potentially has access to it. It was co-reported by G.W. Schulz from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Yesterday, we examined how data can be collected as you go through your everyday life. Today we look at how data-tracking companies are monitoring your online behavior.

While news reports have focused on the National Security Administration and its efforts to monitor people’s phone calls and online activities, private companies you have probably never heard of are also tracking what you are doing, just about everywhere you leave a digital footprint.

So, who has access to the personal information you put online? To begin to answer that question, we examined what happens to the intimate information that millions of people share with online dating sites.

You can hear the results here.

And you should.


John R. Carroll is media analyst for NPR's Here & Now and senior news analyst for WBUR in Boston. He also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town.
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