Excerpt from The Daily Dot
Written by Gry Hasselbach and Pernille Tranberg
How come Facebook knows that I have a mother with Alzheimer's, a woman asked the other day. She was sure that she hadn't provided the social medium with such sensitive information. But when quizzed a bit further, she confirmed that she had googled the illness and been browsing the Alzheimer's Association's website. Both websites “gossip” about visitors’ behavior behind their back to other websites, including Facebook, via third-party cookies.
The woman was surprised. Yet a growing number of consumers know by now that when they get something for “free” in the digital world, they pay with a new currency—their personal data. This is the core business model of everything from “'free” email and search engines to social media and apps that track our exercise and health.