What does it mean when sites like Temu “steal your data”?


I always hear “don’t shop there! they steal your data!!” but what does that mean??? what are they taking? why do i care? how are they doing it? how do we know? i obviously have to give them my card info to buy from the site so it’s not the card info they’re stealing. what else do i care about them getting??

In: 4

How many online shops do you use and do you use the same email address and password for all of them?

If you do unethical sites may sell the user names and passwords to criminals. Theses people will try and access other shops and buy items and get them sent to a different address. Or if they get into your Facebook/Twitter/MySpace account, they will use that to try and con your friends into sending them money.

Temu can buy your private data from Facebook, Google, Twitter who openly resell data to highest bidder. The people who complain about Temu have no issue using those platforms.

Aside from your actual personal data (names, gender, ethnicity etc), sites like these will also record what you search for on them, how long you look at each thing, what order you look at things in, and of course which ones you end up buying. Depending on who they buy and sell data from, they can then also pull real data in, like where you live, where and what you do for work, where you shop and how long you’re willing to browse in each type of shop. Data can also include things like whether or not you drive or walk, whether or not you’re active at all, how often you go on social outings and such.

The purpose is to construct as complete a picture of your life as possible, with the end goal of being able to predict what you will want or need as (or even before) you decide you want or need it. Ad agencies pay for this data because it’s obviously useful for them to know while establishing what to sell you, but marketplace sites can also use this to directly affect your shopping experience in such a way that you are always presented with things you want to buy.

The method for gathering all this is simple. In order to provide their services to begin with, all these sites and apps have to take in simple data like what you’re viewing and buying, or where you are in the case of GPS-activated apps. None of this data particularly needs to be saved to provide the immediate services you want from them (a cornerstore doesn’t need to record your visit in the permanent record just because you browsed their shelves for a few minutes and bought a stick of gum), but if they *are*, and they’re attached to your name or account, then that data can be sold, passed around, and correlated with all the data other people are selling about you. The exact specifics of how and what each site buys and does with your data are the ad algorithms you may have heard about, and they’ll differ from place to place.

They don’t steal, they collect data about you. The data you give them by visiting the shop.