Privacy Piracy

There I was, wondering how I could integrate my website, my blog, my twitter, my Facebook etc, and voila – enter Google Profile. Like a lot of things, once it exists, you wonder why it took so long. You suddenly wonder why your Yahoo! homepage is only for you…

Farhad Manjoo states some probably very valid concerns about Google having access to even more of our personal information, but what I find weird is that this kind of information should be private at all? I would certainly rather have targeted ads about Ted Talks, local organic restaurants or conference venues in Calgary than more Viagra, dating sites or California implants.

I find it a shame that my birth date, co-opted by banks as an identifier, is now the best kept secret on or off of Facebook. Mother’s Maiden name is like a dirty word nowadays that you don’t dare speak in public. Pity the high-profile people about whom all of us know everything…

As I go about getting to know the people in my communities at work and at home, I realize that I know nothing of the really fundamental things. If that guy in the next office passed out, would I even know who to call, bedsides an ambulance? Is he married? Does he have parents? Kids? Is he diabetic? Does his mother’s maiden name signify? And how about in the neighbourhood? The kids seem to know everything, but only in the extreme; that man’s a drunk; she’s grounded; their father lost his job and now they have to move…

It calls to mind old superstitions of not revealing your name cause then the devil will know you, (and get you) but who is the devil we are trying so hard to thwart? Is it the advertisers? Is it fraudsters who will raid our bank accounts? It seems like we are individually fighting this by creating alternate identities for ourselves; identities with no birth dates and no mother’s maiden name. Where will that stop? Will we need to protect the fake ID’s with new avatars, faceless nameless clones of who we used to be? Can we not all band together, act as a community of consumers or citizens to enact some laws that put a stop to the problems, instead of running in circles around the symptoms?

Myself, I could care less what kind of crap they put on my Yahoo! homepage – it is all irrelevant to me. I figure, the farther off they are, the easier it is to ignore it. And if they really can figure out what I want or need and deliver it to my inbox – so much the better since I have a hard enough time figuring that out myself.

But if the people, the majority of the people, don’t want this, don’t want businesses keeping up with our personal evolution, don’t want to risk weirdos knowing anything about our kids, then lets just get together and do something about it and stop hiding in the shadows of the digital dimension.

“Dear Google, I hope you have been scanning my blog. I would like to change the world and maybe you can help… here’s how:”

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2 thoughts on “Privacy Piracy

  1. Ok Rebecca now take a deep breath and move along to the next step… cross your digital divide… Google is here to help you, remember their motto – Do no evil – so join Google Health and collect all your medical records together in one place, there really is benefit …. now how about creating your own community and adding Google Friendconnect to your blog? …promise I am not earning commission for acting like a Google shill… I’m just a fan, they really do have great stuff

    Of course the CIA and FBI and Mossad and MI5 (or is that MI6) and James Bond will know a little more about you but if you’re not going to drain Lake Winnipeg you don’t really care do you? (Oops, did I forget to mention The Mounties?)

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