Tech’s invasion of our privacy made us more paranoid in 2018

Tech's invasion of our privacy made us more paranoid in 2018
When taking a quiz on Facebook leads to an unknown analytics firm gathering information on you, your friends and your family, the uncomfortable truth starts to settle in: There’s almost nothing you can do online without digital eyes following you.

Trackers have long been widespread across the internet, with advertisers and social networks collecting as much information on you as possible. Even when you create an account with almost no personal details on it, it doesn’t take long for a company to relearn everything about you.

The only difference now is we’re starting to open our eyes to all of it.

Suddenly, we’re much more aware of how our data is being collected without our permission. Awareness has gone from an obscure band only a few friends knew about to the Grammy-winning tune you can’t get out of your head — it’s everywhere.

The number of consumer complaints over privacy issues sent to the Federal Trade Commission jumped by more than 14 percent to 8,000.

At a time when Facebook, Google and phone companies have exposed how our data is being exploited, many are demanding a shift in how tech giants deal with privacy.

“In 2018, we really do view it as the year where there was a reckoning with privacy practices across the industry and people waking up to these concerns,” said Marshall Erwin, Mozilla’s director of trust and security.