Monday, June 10, 2013

Log Off, Shutdown And Store The Computer In The Attic

Ads. Cookies. Spyware. Malware. Phishing. Hacking. Analytics.

Take a look at the above list and you'll see that we're being tracked online all the time, have been for years. And now suddenly, everyone is up in arms about the recent "revelation" that international security services using PRISM have been accessing data from around nine (probably more) Internet-based companies, including Facebook and Google.

Canadian users aren't exempt either, it seems.

I find it seriously hard to believe that no one in this technological day and age doesn't understand that what they do online is recorded on a server somewhere, and people other than them know what they've been doing. There's obviously tech involved that is far more wide-reaching than most were aware of, but it's now coming to light due to intelligence community insiders like Edward Snowden.

[From the article: His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents. -- There's another whole issue there of how these security companies vet their employees, but that's another story.]

As is now par for the course when something big like this breaks, social media explodes, people go crazy RTing each other, venting against governments, authority in general, offering their own insights, rebuttals, cross-checking, arguments, praise etc. I think that's when social media really comes into its own: you dip in, monitor the conversation for a while, form an opinion and don't take anything for granted.

Pros: there are no rules in social media. Cons: there are no rules in social media. Use it as you will and how it suits you to jump in and participate in the news of the day.

All those tweets are being stored and monitored somewhere, probably this blog post and millions of others too. It's just the way it seems to be these days. Google knows what e-mails I send; Facebook knows what restaurants I like; LinkedIn knows what industries I'm interested in.

There really is no online privacy anymore, and if you think there is, log off, shutdown and store the computer in the attic.

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