- July 20, 2010
- Posted by: admin
- Categories: Blog, Privacy, Search Marketing
We’ve all had our fair share of discussions about the benefits of the Internet. Messengers, email, social media networks, VoIP, video conferencing, publishing, information access and the like. What we seldom discuss, however, is the other side of the coin. Just how safe is our virtual presence, and all our private details associated with it?
Consider facebook, for instance. You can find me there, even if I don’t want you to. Did you know that NOTHING is ever removed from facebook – even if you chose to delete/remove something – facebook just removes it from display, but the data itself still exists in the background. As for emails, Gmail uses content within emails to ‘best choose’ what ads to display while I’m logged in.
The fine print on all TOR’s does not give me any concrete assurances about non-disclosure to third parties. All providers ‘reserve rights’ to publish, delimit, ban, remove or store my data. Course, they do add lines about ‘valuing’ my privacy, but hey , don’t we all ‘value’ it?
If this was not enough, all Internet traffic is ‘logged’, source, destination, hops, right down to the last pulse. What, where , when – its all documented. To add insult to injury, there’s a social website (foursquare.com) that ‘allows’ you to publish ‘where you are’, turning travel into a social networking game of sorts. This is made possible by GPS technology via the users phone set.
Between the lines, it can also be defined as a self serving data warehouse of constantly changing humanoid locations, with users actually ‘detailing’ why they are going here n there. Too good to be true, really – if you look at it from a surveillance PoV.
Coming to the question – Do you feel that today’s worldwide internet services(ranging from simple email services to complex social/GPS networks) invade your privacy, under the guise of liberty and information access? More importantly, do you feel the exchange is worth the return?
If the aforementioned privacy concerns are genuine, how can regulatory authorities ensure that the end user is not being fleeced out of his privileged info whilst accessing flashy services over the Internet? How can I be sure that my data is not being made available to third parties, off the record?