Data companies are scooping up enormous amounts of information about almost every American. They sell information about whether you’re pregnant or divorced or trying to lose weight, about how rich you are and what kinds of cars you have.
Devices that intercept calls and text messages and dig into data stored on your mobile phone are being marketed to police departments across the United States “as being perfect for covert operations in public order situations.” Or, as the ACLU’s Privacy SOS blog puts it: protests.
So you go online and noodle around, and if you’re like many other Internet users, you “Like” things on Facebook, buy some stuff and perhaps use Gmail. Somewhere in there, the little gnomes from Google and other data-gathering superpowers cobble together your cyber-profile.