The one thing that I’ve learned from my Social Media class is that “Privacy” is used in its most loosest terms. There is no electronic media that is totally private between two people. There is no email, Facebook post or Tweet that isn’t seen by some third party. The worst thing about this is that we are not doing anything to stop it! Why do we become outraged if our postal mail is opened and read or even if looks like the mailperson has taken a look at your new magazine, but not when our email is looked at either by the our government or someone at Google? Have we given up on having any kind of privacy in the electronic world? Are we too addicted to the convenience, speed of technology and to social media that we are willing to give up most of our rights to privacy.
Here are of the few things that we, as a society, are overlooking to have our social media fix: Facebook revealed that it could access smartphone mics to capture and analyze songs, TV shows, or any other sounds that your phone could pick-up! Google’s new glasses would capture everything you saw and add it to their data base for some future use. Google did announce though that it would stop reading students emails for marketing purposes. Yahoo with their newest user agreement withdrew the option that a person’s online behavior would not be tracked, calling it an improvement in “personalized experience.” That, is an experience I will opt out of!
Those breaches of privacy are some of the most notable ones. How many user agreements are out in the world that lawyers, with a lot of time on their hand, have had a chance to read and let alone bring more breaches of privacy to the light of day for all to see? What about all the data that marketers and other entities have gathered on most everyone over the years. Who is protecting this date from hackers? As we have all seen in the news, companies are reactive and not proactive about protecting our private information.
Now, I’m not a Luddite who wants to go back to the 19th century. I love my computer and smartphone and all the conveniences that go with them. I just want to send an email or post something to my family and not have to worry that some government agency(s) or marketing company taking a look at it. I don’t think that is asking too much. It seems like I’m in the minority on this point though; so I’m going to have to live with it for now. I thought, just in case thing got worse, I would start to learning about cyphers and cryptology just to make it a little harder on the marketers and government in finding out that I like Belgian beers and I buy my wife’s jewelry at Tiffany’s, but I’m sure they already knew that anyway!