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Article 2 (June 2018): The personal data you give away

June 28, 2018
A fun Facebook quiz pops up: Fun with family names!  And pretty soon you are typing in your mother's maiden name.  Congratulations: You just revealed the answer to your bank's security question.
It's bad enough that you just let the app know your name, profile picture, age, sex, birthday, your entire friends list, everything you've ever posted on your timeline, all your photos, your employment history, education, home town and every post you ever liked.  What happens to all this information?  Maybe nothing or maybe everything.  It depends who is asking for it.
More than 17 million Facebook users have clicked on a link that promises to provide a word cloud of your most used words. Created by a South Korean company, the app gathers every conceivable snippet of information.  This is extremely common.  According to the BBC, the firm claims it never sells information and never stores information.  Yet, that firm is one of thousands that do quizzes on everything from your Disney princess soulmate to the best cat for you.  An evil app could gather information from your mobile phone, even if you did the quiz on a desktop computer. It could take control of your tablet microphone, detect your phone carrier, and log your entire shopping history.  Then the company could sell that information to other companies that might not be honest.
Think twice before you click on quizzes that could give away all or part of your passwords: Dog and cat names, family names and street names, among others.
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