What should you do about it? One of the most intrusive elements is the ‘tracking cookie’. This can record pretty much anything that you have done on a website, even when you’re not specifically logged in. If you put in health questions, this can be recorded. Then other website, such as one selling health products, can look at this and target you with advertising.
There are various apps that let you delete tracking cookies, and I consider that this is an essential housekeeping operation that everyone should do frequently.
I’m rather annoyed with eBay right now. Although I always buy from a local shop if I can, I needed something that I couldn’t find in after trawling round the local shops. I do sometimes use eBay and there was a product already in my list that I’d eventually got somewhere else. So when I selected the product that I actually wanted, to my despair I saw that instead it had placed an order for the earlier product instead! I realised that eBay had automatically logged me in and when I went to the order screen, it whacked out that order. OK so I was not careful enough, but I am pretty careful, and if it happened to me, it happened to lots of others. Clearly a trick to catch people who are hesitating about placing an order!
To be fair, I was able to cancel the order quite easily, but it was still rather annoying, and clearly a deliberate design ‘feature’ by eBay.
I’ve noticed that ‘Google’ is particularly bad at offering a ‘connected’ experience, which is a Newspeak word for ensnaring you in their net.