Over the years, online privacy has not been spared very much with from Adware and Spyware that monitor your browsing habits to serve customized pop-ups or hijack your search results.
It got so bad that the Federal Trade Commission had to intervene due to the number of complaints.
Things have changed, but many of those same companies have regrouped under different names and operate a slightly different business model, still making money hand over fist.
Large corporations, like Google, have come under heavy fire with regard to data collection and privacy.
Recently, the European Union has come after Google with sanctions for breaching data protection laws. The search engine giant is known for having amassed one of the largest customer databases ever known with data such as full names, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, search query logs, phone calls made, contact lists, etc.
It wouldn’t be fair to forget to mention Facebook, which has had its fair share of privacy blunders, something that cannot go unnoticed when you are the world’s largest social networking platform.
In fact, just last Friday, Facebook apologized to its users for a flaw in its system that allowed people to view private phone numbers and email addresses.
This technical glitch had been in existence for a year, and according to Facebook, six million users have been affected.
While some attempts have been made by software companies to come up with new privacy features in their products (e.g., Internet Explorer’s InPrivate browsing, Google Chrome’s Incognito mode), whatever hope was left may very well have been shattered with the recent NSA leaks about the PRISM surveillance program that revealed how the U.S.’s top Internet companies were turning over private user data to the government.