In the United States, we believe that every citizen should have the right to choose. If they wish to share their personal lives with everyone else, well then they should be allowed to do that. If they choose not to, then we all cringe when the paparazzi invades the privacy of our favorite celebrities, and yet the reason they do is that the general public is genuinely interested in their lives. Okay so, I'd like to talk to you a little bit about how folks trade their information for free online services.
The article "The Curious Case of Internet Privacy - Free services in exchange for personal information. That's the "privacy bargain" we all strike on the Web. It could be the worst deal ever," posted on June 6, 2012 by Cory Doctorow was very interesting and made some relevant points such as;
"But if it's a bargain, it's a curious, one-sided arrangement. To understand the kind of deal you make with your privacy a hundred times a day, please read and agree with the following: By reading this agreement, you give our company and its partners the unlimited right to intercept and examine your reading choices from this day forward, to sell the insights gleaned thereby, and to retain that information in perpetuity and supply it without limitation to any third party - and this agreement is subject to change at any time."
Right, so people give their information and assume that that particular website will use that information for only good purposes, and perhaps to send them advertisements, and to help pay for those free services through their advertising partners. But who is to say that those advertising partners will not all get together with other advertising partners, sharing that data together, and before you know it you get your information shared with the entire world, when you supposedly just wanted a free app to run on your mobile phone, probably something silly, something cool, or something that really doesn't matter anyway - look at the real cost now?
Well, this is exactly what's happening now, and that last little bit above about; "and this agreement is subject to change at any time," and for any reason without your consent forever into the future as long as you live, and beyond - is yet completely another thing. Do people really agree to have their information given to every company worldwide just for using a free app? Do people really know what they're in for? I would submit to you that they do not, and that the individual who wrote that article is absolutely correct, and I fear that things are getting worse.
There was another interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on June 5, 2012 which indicated that there were companies able to get by the rules at the Apple's App Store about "tracking consumers" by working with other app companies, and then trading the data amongst them. Some of these networked big data information companies are making a ton of money off your personal information, and God only knows who is going to receive that information future. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.
Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Digital Internet Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net/