Wacom says it’s not spying on its customers


Connected digital devices and how they access and share our data is a growing concern. Tech giants are under fire as revelations about what, how, and why they are collecting data is released to the public. Ethical data collection is an area that is becoming more and more regulated as these actions are exposed. 

What are they collecting

When you decide to connect your Wacom tablet, it doesn’t feel as it would collect your data. When we think of primary data collecting entities, we look at Social Media platforms and other media giants. Well, it turns out that Wacom is not only collecting your data but also sharing it with Google Analytics, and many people have a problem with it. 

Wacom says the data being collected is on pen tablet models, how customers use its devices, and which software applications are used when tablets are in use. It also tracks apps like the Wacom Desktop Center and Wacom Tablet Properties control panel (Windows) or Wacom Tablet Preferences panel (macOS).

What are their policies

With the public in an uproar, Wacom had to release a statement clarifying its policies and how you can opt-out. 

Many are saying that even though there is a way to opt-out, users shouldn’t have to. Instead users should automatically be opted out and then be asked if they would like to opt-in. The current method is a sure-fire way for companies to automatically get this data because they know a large portion of use won’t take time to look into opting out.

How to keep your data safe

There are a million and one ways to have your data taken. Here are 5 quick tips from CNET on how you can be proactive in keeping your data and personal information as safe as possible while you download, browse, and open applications. 

Only download apps from Google and Apple’s stores 

While apps on these platforms are not always trustworthy according to Hart at CNET, “Apps available on these platforms will have been vetted to ensure that they meet a standard quality of data protection and will also be required to produce a dedicated privacy policy for you, telling you just how they protect your data.”

Limit social media exposure

Whether you recently deleted your social media accounts, privatized, or never made an account, to begin with, you still have a lot to look out for. If you appear on a friend or family member’s account, you’re still visible online. After those accounts are observed, companies can construct a “shadow profile” that details a person’s likes, dislikes, political leanings, religious beliefs, and more.

Research the app or company

You should research any app and company you try to connect with. Even if friends and family are utilizing them, it’s essential to remain vigilant and even make sure you aren’t using a bootleg copy of a top-rated app. The best way to screen this is to type the app or company’s name, followed by the word ‘scam’ or ‘data scandal.’ 

 Use a VPN on public Wi-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is great, especially when you can enjoy the surge of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and shopping malls. Using these public access networks leaves your data and personal information vulnerable. Using a VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a great way to keep your data from being snooped on by other people lurking on the same public network and also mask your data transmissions.

Be mindful of app permissions

“[If] you’re downloading a simple app for a pocket calculator, for instance, and the app is requesting access to your contact list and location,” said Stephen Hart, CEO of Cardswitcher. “Why would a calculator need to see your contact list and location? Requests like that should ring some alarm bells.” You should also ask yourself whether it makes sense for an app to ask for certain permissions and always double-check the app settings to make sure you are aware of what you’re allowing to be shared.

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