Imagine having a complete profile of your life in cyberspace that you never had the password for.
With great technology comes great sacrifice. With the web at our fingertips 24/7 at the click of a button, there isn’t much we cannot find out whenever we please. However, the catch is that in exchange for this capability, we give up our own privacy to contribute to the all knowing internet.
We’ve all seen certain things on Google Earth that have been a little surprising and a bit invasive. If we object to this type of privacy breach, we should know that the data shared with every upload is like a digital stamp. There is an entire trail of footprints. While you may think the things you post on social media and on the internet in general is a series of random thoughts or life events, big data is becoming more and more advanced in that it can create an entire profile of your activities that record what you say when you say it and learn things about you by putting the pieces together.
Image Courtesy of Flickr user: Matt Callow
A recent article cites traffic cams and other motion sensing video recorders as technology “that show a person’s driving habits, shopping routines, dating preferences and so on” (azcentral.com). This information becomes dangerous when it is used against us. Currently we may believe that the internet is so vast that nothing could really happen to us. This idea is so flawed, yet it is virtually impossible to use the internet without giving up your personal details. This might make you think of Edward Snowden, a name that has become popular in the media these days. His views on privacy issues are clear after having leaked top secret NSA files. He has commented on sites like Google and DropBox with a clear position on avoiding them at all cost in hopes of helping people protect their privacy before it is too late.
On a more personal, and as some added motivation to safeguard your info, studies have shown that followers are more likely to react positively toward shared experiences than ones that you’ve had exclusively. This means that when you upload every moment – food, views, geographic locations – you are more likely to put off your audience vs. when you share something that most can relate to. So keep your followers happy and keep yourself happy by avoiding a personal data meltdown and curb your social media exposure altogether. Maybe try going out without your phone next time so that when the government tries tracking you they’ll think you’re still at home. Although this might seem like a stretch, it’s important that we maintain our common sense and realize that every keystroke has a consequence in the cyber world.
Featured Image courtesy of Flickr user: nolifebeforecoffee