I’m sorry….I just have to carry on THAT debate…


Since we talked about Facebook/Google/other social media and their attempts at invasion of privacy etc, emails from readers have been flowing in.

And judging by the content and number of them, I just cannot sit and ignore them all, as it’s quite an important topic I think.

But before we go on, let me say that I don’t profess to be an expert in anything, whether it’s photography, digital media, blonde-ladies-wearing-red-high-heeled-stilettos (sorry folks..had to get that one in…LOL!) or whatever else, so I was surprised by the amount and methods of personal information capture that social media is capturing from us all. Here are some examples sent to me via email from readers:

1 apparently, there is a “Do not track” option on Google’s sites, but hear this…it has been proven NOT TO WORK!

2 we may think that asking normally “un-askable” questions, the type of questions you’d never ask even your closest friends, maybe sexual, financial or other personal things, by typing them into the Google search engine guarantees total anonymity……WRONG….everything we type into Google is stored, maybe forever….things such as your location, gender, possibly address and more….with no guarantee of it not being made available to researchers in the future, without your knowledge of course

3   a distinguished university professor explained that scientists have demonstrated an easy method of making previously anonymous computer data, into data that can reveal almost everything about the individual whence it came from. He goes on to say “In my work, I’ve argued that these databases will grow to connect every individual to at least one closely guarded secret. This might be a secret about a medical condition, family history, or personal preference … It is a secret that, if revealed, would cause more than embarrassment or shame; it would lead to serious, concrete, devastating harm.”

4 a respected statistician was noted as saying “It knows who you are. It knows where you live. It knows what you do,” talking about Acxiom, the biggest company in the world of database marketing. “It peers deeper into life than the FBI or the IRS, or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google.”

5 the FBI has a new mega-database to track suspected criminals and terrorists….that’s fine of course, but the FBI also is able to mine “social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and immediately translate foreign language tweets into English” to follow what ordinary people are doing online.

What is the answer then? As I mentioned before, I don’t foresee an answer in the near future, such has been the speed with which technological computer-based media has been allowed a free hand.

The frightening thing is that even if we don’t use the internet for watching or planning vile acts of terrorism, or whatever….the fact of life is that the browsers you and I use every day, and it doesn’t just include Google but a host of others too….although these browsers allow us to opt out of online behavioral advertising, they DO NOT prevent tracking….the present rules allow websites themselves to decide what to do with the info they garner from your surfing.

And I often laugh at he millions of users of Facebook etc, who keep on piling their personal details onto their pages….things like theirs and their family’s photos, their houses, cars, where they work, all kinds of personal stuff we normally wouldn’t tell strangers….let’s not forget that out of the hundreds of people who will read your Facebook account, only a handful will be your close relatives or friiends, the rest WILL be total strangers, so why release your details to all and sundry? Can we trust every single person on this planet? You know the answer to that!

Huge numbers of our youngsters are virtually hooked on social media nowaadays….I have heard of kids constantly monitoring their pages on their smartphones, for fear of missing something or being left out, that they leave their cellphones on all night, so that they can receive any alerts even while asleep. It’s no wonder that they are losing valuable sleep waiting for this garbage to come thru to their phones, not to mention creating unwanted stress. Further, you may have heard of so-called cyber-bullying, where kids single out a certain user and bombard him/her with downgrading comments, many times resulting in suicide of the recipient. Who can be held responsible for these deaths? Facebook, Google or the users?

Even more to the point….do we really need social media? Didn’t we all have perfectly stable and comfortable lives before Facebook and Google came along? Yes, we did.

Meantime, the very best we all can do to protect ourselves from privacy invasion, can be had from this 12-point guide.

:0

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ME & MY PASSION! ok, you probably looked at the length of this "about me" page and thought, god, what's wrong with this guy!....does he have to start telling us his life story or something!!? well, youve come here now anyways, so why not hear what im like as a person, eh? ive been using film cameras for well over 30 years...my first one being the family yashicamat twin lens! over the years, ive both bought sold and collected film cameras...too many to tell the truth! in fact, ive been buying and selling cameras well before the internet came on the scene, so anything you purchase from me is backed by my self-styled moneyback promise.....if you dont like what youve bought, send it back within 14 days and you get all your money back...no arguments!! WHERE I STAND ON THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION! yes, i do use digital as well, but only as a ready-reckoner...i try and take most shots with my simple 2megapixel digicam....if the shot looks good, i pull out my film camera and shoot! i most defintely do not believe in digital manipulation of photographs....that in my eyes is not photography...its cheating! WHERE I USED TO LIVE, WHERE I AM NOW & WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO! i used to live in Ontario, Canada, but moved back to the UK a little while ago (its a long story..!)...but now i'm living in the one place i always wanted to be...Vancouver, BC..the next best thing to paradise on earth! as i work as a freelance writer as well as other things, i often find hat my work takes me to europe for short spells, so i get to travel a lot...not a blessing, as i just hate long flights! im a qualified Quality Assurance guy (you know...ISO 9000, auditing, documentation etc) ....99% of my skill-set is transferable so i can handle any admin or documentation-related roles....see you in BC! otherwise, i specialise in ISO 9000 auditing and documentation. my dream? to have my own thriving camera shop in Vancouver BC, whilst living in the mountains somewhere.....the best of both worlds!
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8 Responses to I’m sorry….I just have to carry on THAT debate…

  1. Fresh Ginger says:

    In real life, I am an investigator of sorts. There are sooooo many easy ways to get personal data on just about anyone that … seriously … posting tidbits of your life on Facebook is pretty trivial.

    • hi! ok, thats news to me…thank u for that info!

      • Fresh Ginger says:

        There is so much “public” information in the US from the assessor, courts, recorder’s office that I rarely have to do look at someone’s Facebook to know all about them. I have some settings restricted on my own FB account but I also put out enough public info that 1-you could probably track me down easily and 2-you might be totally bored my normal and mundane activities. There’s enough other stuff going on in the world that I try not to worry about who is stalking me. Plus, I don’t have much to hide. :)

      • yea..i agree with that last statement!
        most of us dont have anything to hide anyways….i guess its just that fear of “big brother” knowing everything about you, even if it IS mundane!

      • Fresh Ginger says:

        The robots trolling my social media are bored. :)

  2. Oh, my… that guide was so useful!!!! I often wonder btw why people share their every single activity with detail… We are becoming societies of show offs and peeping toms! Anyway, you already know my views on the matter. I just hope people wake up before the situation becomes irreversible [if not already].

    • yea, marina….i agree.
      like someone else has just said a few mins ago…most of us leading normal, humdrum lives, dont have much to fear….what we do is so mundane!
      but as i replied to this reader just now…what we do may well be mundane, but its just that fear of big brother knowing each and everything about us…that is wrong, theres no need for it and it can and most likely will be, if not already, used against you…

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