Popular Apps and Websites That Sell Your Anonymized Data
Popular apps and websites reserve the right to sell your anonymized data
By Nick Vega
Last month, most people learned through a New York Times story that the email decluttering servicehad been selling anonymized customer data to third parties.
Specifically,had reportedly analyzed Lyft receipt data from users' email inboxes, then sold that data to Uber. would not confirm the specific transactions with Business Insider, but did say it routinely sells data in this way to third parties, which is how the site makes money.
In the wake of this story, we decided to go through the privacy policies of several popular applications and websites to see what they do with users' anonymized data. To be clear, inclusion on this list does not mean that a company is actively selling users' anonymized, non-identifiable data; several companies responded to our inquiries to clarify that they do not do this. However, we asked an attorney to look over these privacy policies, and he was able to confirm that the language keeps the options for these companies to sell your data at a later date.
Because it's tied to your Facebook profile, Tinder can gain a lot of information about you through your account. Be sure to check your Facebook settings to limit what information you share with the dating app.
What they say:
We also may share aggregated, non-personal information, or personal information in hashed, non-human readable form, with third parties, including advisors, advertisers and investors, for the purpose of conducting general business analysis, advertising, marketing, or other business purposes.
We may share information with advertising partners in order to send you promotional communications about Spotify or to show you more tailored content, including relevant advertising for products and services that may be of interest to you, and to understand how users interact with advertisements. The information we share is in a de-identified format (for example, through the use of hashing) that does not personally identify you.
Spotify's statement to Business Insider:
The customer data we share with trusted partners simply helps us to tailor improved experiences to our users, allows us to deliver relevant content and ads to users on the free service, and to build new and innovative products for the future.
Spotify does not sell customer data, and the privacy and security of our customers' data remains our highest priority.
We may share your information with third parties… to provide information about the use of the Lyft Platform to potential business partners in aggregated or de-identified form that can’t reasonably be used to identify you.
Lyft's statement to Business Insider:
We don't sell [user] data currently and have no immediate plans to do so.
Read full story and learn more about Data Privacy and Collection here.
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