Data Mining: How Companies Now Know Everything About You

Every detail of your life — what you buy, where you go, whom you love — is being extracted from the Internet, bundled and traded by data-mining companies. What's in it for you?

  • Illustration by Joe Zeff for TIME

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    Track Back. Use these sites to protect yourself and your information
    For $8.25 a month, the site, founded by CEO Fertik, will work to keep trackers off your browser. For more, it'll massage the results of a Google self-search into something more flattering
    This site tells you only what Google, Yahoo, BlueKai, Bizo and eXelate know, but it also lists more than 300 tracking companies and helps you opt out of being tracked by them
    With this free download, every time you go to a website, a pop-up window tells you all the companies that are grabbing your data

    Your Browser
    Forget your browser's "privacy" option; that just prevents people borrowing your computer from seeing what sites you've been to. New features on Firefox and Chrome allow you to request that companies not mine your data and
    There's no one clearinghouse where you can put yourself on a "do not track" list, but you can opt out of data mining by all members of these two industry associations

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