The lawyer told what personal data is collected on the Internet without your knowledge

MOSCOW, 19 Oct – PRIME. The Internet knows and remembers everything: almost every website or mobile application in one way or another collects information about all visitors, Vadim Vinogradov, head of the working group on legislation in the field of Internet technologies and digitalization of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, dean of the HSE Faculty of Law, tells the Prime agency .

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Social networks know a lot about each user: first name, last name, gender, age, place of residence, phone number, e-mail, profession, marital status, interests, photos and the place where they were taken, posts, likes, hashtags, reposts, comments , videos watched, other profile views, community subscriptions, friends list, login device information (operating system, phone model, browser, IP address, installed applications, battery level), mobile operator and provider, language, time zone, connection speed, nearby Wi-Fi access points, contacts from the address book, location and movement, what other people say about us in publications and messages.

“Some social networks even record the position of a computer mouse and signals from the camera built into the application. This list may certainly surprise the average user, but nevertheless, this social network data is collected on completely legal grounds,” says the lawyer.

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Data is also collected by domestic and foreign browsers. Some create a kind of impersonal portrait of the user with unique characteristics of social status, interests and behaviors; others analyze more personalized information.

“It is important to understand that in most cases people give permission for the collection of this information without reading and accepting the terms of the user agreements or clicking the “accept all cookies” button. Even enthusiasts who read all documents are unlikely to fully understand what they are agreeing to and what the amount of information is voluntarily transferred to various organizations and companies,” explains Vinogradov.

According to him, not all sites or applications are equipped with such legal options. In fact, they collect information about visitors in the same way, they just “modestly” do not notify people about it.
“Therefore, of course, it would be very naive to assume that if the site does not“ scream ”about collecting data, then it does not,” he assures.

According to the expert, it is “practically impossible” to determine the legality of such activities. The working conditions and privacy policy of the resource can be safely hidden inside the site, and the documents themselves are drawn up in such a way that not every lawyer can make a claim.

In general, the collection of data serves one purpose – to make the advertising “attack” on the user more accurate and targeted. The second goal also does not pose a particular threat: sites collect statistics to optimize their own work. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee that at some point personal data will not fall into the hands of third parties: due to a hacker attack, a dishonest employee of the organization, or for other reasons. Therefore, the expert strongly recommends that you treat all kinds of consents that users leave on the Web with great attention.

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Can I revoke consent to the processing of personal information? Federal Law No. 152-FZ “On Personal Data” provides for such a right: at any time and without explanation. To do this, you need to submit an application for withdrawal of consent to the processing of personal data. Within 30 days from the date of acceptance of the application, the operator must stop working with personal information, destroy or ensure its destruction.

Another thing is that further work with a particular service depends on the type of personal data operator and its policy. For example, you send a request to the administration of the social network with a request to delete your data. This implies that the entire account must be deleted. It will not work to start a new one without consent to processing.

The same applies to different sites: if you try to use it again, you will be asked to give your consent again. If you want to be present in the social network, accept the terms of its work.

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As for official organizations, according to the order of the President of the Russian Federation of August 31, 2022, the issue of expanding the functionality of the State Services portal is currently being worked out. We are talking, among other things, about the possibility of viewing all the issued consents to the processing of data that were given to authorities and organizations. It also provides for the possibility of revoking previously given consents.

“It is usually impossible to revoke this consent to accept all cookies on the site itself or in the application. However, you can clear existing ones and prevent your device from storing them in the future. This is easily done in the security and privacy settings of any browser,” explains Vinogradov.

For all facts of violation of work with personal data, any person has the right to file a complaint with Roskomnadzor.

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