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Thread: Rights to Privacy and Information Sharing in the Digital Age

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Rights to Privacy and Information Sharing in the Digital Age

    I was sent a link to a new search engine that is selling itself based on the fact that it does not store personal information about site users or sell/give/trade information about site users, which apparently google does. I never really thought about it before, but it makes sense. You go to a search engine, type in some words, and click on a link. That is typically the extent of my evaluation of using a search engine. Does it produce good results? Yes? Fantastic.

    But duckduckgo's advertisement got me thinking about how data is collected about internet users and why and how this practice might alter the way the world operates. Everyone who uses facebook has surely noticed that the annoying ads on the side of the page will suddenly change and all revolve around a theme if you type a word too frequently. Update your status to say "I'm going to Tokyo!" and suddenly the ads will focus on travel sites, places in Japan, discounted tickets, etc.

    The duckduckgo ad claims that this can be harmful to individuals because the information that google is collecting is sold as a profile and can somehow be linked to your credit based on computer information. Can this really be so? And if the answer is yes, is this legal? Can search terms really be used by corporations to make a judgement about your insurability or creditworthiness? And if the answer is yes to that, then how would this impact society?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post

    The duckduckgo ad claims that this can be harmful to individuals because the information that google is collecting is sold as a profile and can somehow be linked to your credit based on computer information. Can this really be so? And if the answer is yes, is this legal? Can search terms really be used by corporations to make a judgement about your insurability or creditworthiness? And if the answer is yes to that, then how would this impact society?
    My understanding is that all this occurs and has occured for some time. I suspect most mega-corporations know that I have a penchant for good beer, good looking women, and an occasional battle with athlete's foot - among other things.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Facebook to sell... or "share"... personal address and telephone numbers

    FB has announced that it will continue with its plans to sell (aka: "share" for a fee) home addresses and personal telephone numbers with third party developers. Personally, I think we should be able to opt out of this type of information sharing. All things considered, there are a million ways for those interested to get my personal address and/or telephone number, but most people put extremely sensitive information on their FB profile, such as when they are out, where they are, when they are going on vacation, etc. Now not only can a third party get access to your posts ("Hey, I'm on vacation for 2 weeks") but they can get your home address right along with it. Considering that most people do not want this type of information shared, it seems like we as a society should be more on top of controlling these sort of systematic violations of our rights to privacy. Simply being a site user, in my opinion, does not give FB the right to sell my personal information.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0...?ref=fb&src=sp

    Now would be a great time for a FB competitor to open up a site that offers the same functionality with the promise to keep your personal information private.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    That's the final straw. I'm going off the grid!!
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I think this will be one of Facebooks oops I made a mistake moments. They have been digging for personal information for a while now, and by sell it, they are losing the trust many had in them. I am willing to bet that many will remove their personal information or put false information. FB can't verify anything, so the data will be pretty much useless.

    If I were Mark Zuckerburg, I would sell now. Don't let yourself get to be the next MySpace....

    Facebook will be heading out and something new will come in that does more and invades less...
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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