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Activity Tracking – Grey Market Labs PBC

The concept of privacy is multifaceted and complex, a concept that has evolved over time with emerging technologies, across societies and cultures, and redefined as new domains are discovered and explored. A subset of privacy, information or data privacy, focuses on control over the collection, usage, and dissemination of people’s personal information. Boundaries for data privacy and data protection are often determined by analyzing a plurality of factors such as legal, policy, ethical, and economic considerations. Regardless of factors, the pervasiveness of data privacy-compromising methods and tools is overwhelming.

A common means of collecting personal information is through online tracking. There are numerous types of identifiers and attributes online trackers utilize. They work transparently in most cases, and their scope permeates throughout digital mediums and across sectors [1]. Each item in the list below relies on software and hardware-based methods for activity tracking:

  • Websites use browser provided information to identify and track users
  • Mobile devices have unique identifiers and numerous sensors that online trackers rely on [2]
  • Smart televisions can not only collect and disseminate what we watch, but they potentially open an attack vector for malicious actors [3]
  • Vehicles can use numerous sensors to record data on vehicle location, driver and driving characteristics, cabin environment, etc. [4]
  • Flight tracking services managed to predict significant business deals by monitoring the routes of company jets [5]

The wealth of collected data is used to build comprehensive profiles and generate insights. These profiles “can reveal our political affiliation, religious beliefs, sexual identity and activity, race and ethnicity, education level, income bracket, purchasing habits, and physical and mental health” [6]. This collected data is potentially shared and further enhanced, in some cases revealing the identity of the individuals behind the profile. Protecting life online requires a multifaceted data protection approach. To handle this evolving environment, Opaque is adaptable with security and privacy designed into its core.

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