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Part 2: Do You Trust Google, Weedmaps, Leafly with your Cannabis Search Data?
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This is part 2 of a 3 part orginal series on Cannabis Search and Internet Data Security.

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, Google+… the list of data sharing scandals is long and filled with multi-million-dollar corporations. All of them cataloging every byte of personal data they can glean from your online presence.

All cannabis search engines we looked at use similar techniques for gathering and sharing of data, but one company stands apart – 420A3.Com

420A3 decided to forego the “traditional revenue stream” that includes sharing/selling their data. Instead believing that when it comes to the consumption of legal medical/recreational drugs, privacy is paramount to its clients and users.

420A3.Com’s latest website release puts them at the forefront of Cannabis Search and Security, no competitor in the class comes close.

Cannabis Search Matrix

How do these other companies get all of your personal data?

There are two (2) main reasons why...

  • First: users may un-wittingly agree to open data sharing because of verbose and confusing Terms of Service (TOS) or Privacy Policy (PP) agreements.
  • Second: websites that users visit place tracking cookies on their device that can track them across the internet.

Terms of Service (TOS) or Privacy Policy (PP)

Both TOS, and PP policy links should be easy to find on your website with the wording being clear (the more precise and succinct, the better!)

Each policy should openly define where the company stands data sharing/selling; Rule of thumb is…
If you can’t find TOS, or PP easily or need a lawyer to translate assume you’re being tracked.

Good Cookies vs Tracking Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to your device that stores small amounts of data that website services can access. While most browser cookies are harmless, a tracking cookie is more nefarious and behaves like a virus

An example of a “good” browser cookie. A cannabis website will ask you to age-verify that you are 21 years old. Many sites will offer a “remember me” checkbox which will write a “good” cookie to your device; Preventing you from having to age-verify each time you visit the site. In this example the cookie is only used by the hosting website to validate your age-verification and no data is shared to 3rd parties.

A tracking cookie collects data - and just like a virus - sends that data to 3rd party servers.

How it works is the 3rd party tracking software is installed by the website owner. That 3rd party software program recognizes its cookie then sends its collected data to 3rd party servers. The data from your device can include, public IP address, user or personal names, address information including latitude and longitude, elevation, and even temperature. Google Analytics also tracks demographic information such as age, gender, buying habits, total money spent on the internet, your search queries...the list goes on and on, and on…

A tracking cookie collects data - and just like a virus - sends that data to 3rd party servers.

This is why you are prompted to geo-locate your device immediately upon entering a website.
This is why you get served the same ad content surfing between multiple sites.
This is why you see pre-targeted content when you hit a webpage.

Safe and Secure

420A3.Com’s latest website release adds to their industry best security features by:

  • Allows NO tracking or 3rd party cookies, or advertisements
  • Added Enhanced Database Security by encrypting additional data fields
  • Added an Extended Validation SSL Certificate - not all SSL certificates are equal

While 420A3.Com does not have features that some of their seasoned competitors offer, their attention to security, detail, and search functionality are unparalleled in the industry.

You can safely search on 420A3.Com without concern about tracking software being left on your device, or device or personal data shared.

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