If you don’t pay for a service, the product is you. This popular expression has served to illustrate the operation of the economic model of the Internet . But that you pay does not mean the opposite. And it is that streaming platforms such as Netflix , HBO , Amazon Prime or Disney + use the movies and series that their users see to create profiles of them and sell that information to third companies, who use it to bombard us with personalized advertising . When you watch television, she watches you too.
This is revealed in a report published this week in the United States by Common Sense Media , a non-profit organization that works to protect the privacy of minors and families in the digital world. Their study indicates that all major platforms, with the exception of Apple TV , engage in these practices and do not meet the minimum privacy requirements .
The organization points out that large on-demand television services such as Netflix profit from the vast amounts of information they collect from their users. And it is that their systems are capable of knowing how you are through your moviegoers and seriéphiles tastes. Streaming platforms use this data to send us personalized advertising that follows us all over the Internet . They also sell them to third parties – like Google and Amazon’s advertising business – to do the same, raking in large sums of money along the way.
Your data as a business
The report points out the problem that citizens do not have ways to know what data these platforms extract from them and how it is used later. The collection of information has useful purposes such as allowing you to recover a password or to know what season and episode you are going through, but there are many experts who have reported abuse in this process of usurping our personal data .
Have you ever wondered why what you read on the Internet, the things you chat about with your friends or the videos you watch appear later in the form of an advertisement? Everything we do in the digital sphere leaves a trail that becomes a gold mine. The model of using that information to sell us ads is the engine that has driven giants like Google or Facebook , pioneers in the extraction of personal data .
Although both companies operate in the technology sector, the truth is that they are advertising platforms . Last year Google earned 147,000 million dollars in advertising, which is 80% of its revenue. Facebook earned 84.2 billion, 85% of its turnover. Streaming platforms also want a piece of the pie.