Privacy on Google and Facebook

Over the last couple of weeks I had several discussions about the privacy on Google+ and Facebook. Currently I see friends leaving both networks due to the lack of it.

Is this a paranoid reaction? I don’t think it is. Social media sites are notorious for collecting information about people and selling it for some profit. What people do forget is the fact that these so called social sites are just the tip of what companies collect about you. People should be aware.

Let’s give some examples.

In the Netherlands, and partly in Germany (I think in a lot of countries) the government is able to track you since your isp needs to track traffic for 1 to N months. This means that they will not only collect who you call but also where you are located when you made these calls (or did not call at all).

The Dutch government is tracking you on certain highways where they track all cars (the license plates). So they know where you have been at what time.

Supermarkets will hand you a bonus card promising smart deals, they know exactly what you buy, even if you only use your credit card.

Health Insurance companies are getting bills from you doctor about subscriptions he wrote for you. They know exactly what is wrong with you.

As for the internet. I started using it in the late 1990’s and my provider at that time already had a blackbox tracking what people are looking for. People working there contacted me using non isp related phone’s to talk about certain issues.

Is this making me paranoid? No. I am aware of what I want to share and also have some options if I want to share something without tracking me. Just think about what you post on the internet, it is cached forever :-)



One thought on “Privacy on Google and Facebook

  1. Hans August 29, 2011 at 10:15 pm Reply

    Sorry, but companies aren’t allowed to do profiling based on your creditcard and/or bank account number. If they do, they will be punished. This is the reason companies invented consumer cards to bypass that restriction.

    And ISP’s tracking traffic? That is 6 to 24 months, but some counties like Ireland already do 36 months. And what worries me, is that no one is taking into account that there is no proof of the data being destroy after it’s required period. Some legal firms in the US slowly starting to say that they destroy data after X time. I still wonder why companies keep records of there customers after there legal purpose and why government makes requirements to purge those records.

    Do you really need to keep records of a contract that ended 11 years ago for example? Or to who an user e-mail to say 8 years ago? Or what a sysadmin typed on the commandline for server X? Or that you visited website 6 years ago?

    Then again, a lot of people don;t know that they are giving away there data. People who wonder should hava a look at Firefox RequestPlugin for example and wonder who is being queried when you visit a website.

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