Getting to know you…Getting to know ALL about YOU!

Personal privacy is something most people have thought about at one time or another. Growing up this meant ensuring the lock on my diary was secured and the key safely stored. In today’s environment keeping things secure ranges from proper disposal of paper correspondence and records, to taking care of my presence online.

privacy keyWhat people are prepared to share online is as individual as their profiles. Like many, I am concerned about my presence and appropriate ‘sharing’ online. Increasingly we see the impact of what we share or do online, as well as how easy it is to learn about people with a few keystrokes. Consider the reactions of the people in this BuzzFeed video when they are confronted with details that have been learned about them after a little bit of online research.

Even if you do what you think is best to keep your online identity in check, Neil J. Rubenking’s February 2014 PC Mag article recommends reviewing your settings from time to time to confirm that they are still applicable. However, not all the information learned about us is as the result of our conscious sharing.

In her article “All Eyes on You”, Jennifer Golbeck, PhD. details the types and ways information is collected about us, often without our knowledge. In doing so, these ‘back-end’ processes learn more about us than we may appreciate. When you think about it, collecting personal data isn’t really all that new. Did you shop in a store this week? Most if not all bricks and mortar retail outlets monitor and record customers through close circuit video surveillance and regularly track habits and interests through purchasing preferences. But what about our online behaviour?   In her 2013 TED Talk, Golbeck explains how our actions in digital spaces are used to help determine things about us and in some ways predict what we do in the future. Big brother doesn’t appear to ever really sleep.

privacy cartoon

Increasingly we are learning how what we considered some randomly posted information is now available for all to see, read, infer and share. From the retweeting of personal photographs to closed communities on Facebook, the general public is learning a lot more about others than they might have ever been interested. The internet is a VERY public space and one where keeping things private means keeping them to yourself, or as Goldbeck suggests we can choose to just “get over it”.,2817,2453770,00.asp

3 thoughts on “Getting to know you…Getting to know ALL about YOU!

  1. All I have to say is Wow! That Buzzfeed video was great! I agree that people should be more aware of their online footprint and reputation management. My privacy setting are extremely high on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I always make sure not to use swear words or post inappropriate picture for this reason… you never know who will see it! Employers are turning to social media to learn more about their candidates before even meeting them, how scary is that. You’re first impression might be that picture your friend tagged you in where your chugging a beer at a bar last weekend (Not speaking from personal experience). I look forward to your future blog posts!

  2. That video was both hilarious and scary! I generally think I’m pretty secure when it comes to my online world. I only use Facebook and as far as I know I am unsearchable. But I created my profile back in 2006 and who knows how many pictures of myself in my university glory days are floating around in cyber space! I’m now recalling being hired for a bar tending job across the country back in 2011 because the staff found my profile and said I looked like a lot of fun! But I’m just imagining what the outcome would have been had I been applying to a professional organisation. Yikes!

    Another thing that weirds me out when it comes to online privacy and security is through my Gmail of Facebook, advertisements are tailored towards words I have used in my emails or my posts. I feel so violated when I write an email to my mum and maybe mention my cat, and then my Gmail is suddenly filled with sidebar ads about great deals on cat food or grooming. It’s nuts that complete strangers can learn about you without you even realising.

  3. Haha way to go Heather. You’ve successfully scared us all into not wanting to use social media any longer. 🙂

    This was a great post and very relevant to the discussions in this course. What is privacy on social media and does it really even exist?

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