Archive for April 3, 2008

Bye Bye Privacy

Google that title line and see what you get. It sure won’t speak much about your privacy slowly drifting away, not on Google anyway. And this is not about the omnipresent video cameras that document your movements, no matter where you go or what you do. Or who you do. 800px-surveillance_video_cameras_gdynia.jpegHere’s a clue for you: When you make a one time search on Google, it’s not a one time search, it’s stored away somewhere on their super-duper computers. And if you have Google mail, in the cookies stored on your computer there may be a linkage between your e-mail info and that question in the big data base, and it’s there forever.

So, someone doing a search for, oh let’s say making explosive devices, could one day hear a federal sounding knock on the door following some act of violence somewhere using a device similar to the one you’ve received information about. It could be years after the fact in fact. Now, move that thought over to the world of porno, eh, adult entertainment for instance, just how many people would you like to have know about your, ah…. one time visit to “Elevator_Girls_In Bondage_Dot_Com” that you did to research a book idea.

Most people know that when you use a supermarket customer card, your purchases are stored so that you can be targeted for specific sales materials if you used your real name and address on the application form. How can this be bad? Well, your purchases of alcohol and tobacco products are added to the data base, as well as other items that might come back to haunt you when you apply for insurance and state on the forms that you don’t smoke or drink, should your insurance company obtain the rights to see the material.

All this is a prelude to the next big thing, the RFID issue (radio frequency identification). That’s the name for those little chips that are in the packaging in most items you buy, placed there as a security measure so when you pass through those posts at the exit with an item that hasn’t been cleared at the register, the alarm goes off. A big push going on now is for a chip that will be implanted in your credit cards or i.d. cards, ones that can be read as you pass through a store or other business. This means that all your visits to a big store, and how long you stayed at the jewelry counter, and how long in the bathroom would all be on file somewhere. A variant of this now exists in global positioning devices that are installed in trucks so a fleet dispatcher can see how fast any of their trucks are being driven, where they stopped and for how long on the road, all data for the company to use as they see fit.

So anytime you think you’re alone, perhaps you’re not.



April 3, 2008 at 6:26 pm 1 comment


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