'Technology companies have been pummeled by revelations about how poorly they protect their customers’ personal information, including an in-depth New York Times report detailing the ability of smartphone apps to track users' locations.
Some companies, most notably Apple, have begun promoting the fact that they sell products and services that safeguard consumer privacy.
Smartphone users are never asked explicitly if they want to be tracked every moment of each day.
But cellular companies, smartphone makers, app developers and social media companies all claim they have users' permission to conduct near-constant personal surveillance.
The underlying problem is that most people don't understand how tracking really works.
The technology companies haven't helped teach their customers about it, either.
In fact, they've intentionally obscured important details to build a multi-million dollar data economy based on an ethically questionable notion of informed consent.
How consumers are made to agree
But people don’t always have a free choice.
Instead, it’s a 'take-it-or-leave-it' agreement, in which a customer can use the service only if they agree.
Anyone who actually wants to understand what the policies say finds the details are buried in long legal documents unreadable by nearly everyone, perhaps except the lawyers who helped create them.'
Read more: How to stop Facebook, Apple and Google tracking your every move: The tweaks you can make to your phone to stay private
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