Privacy Arms Race

Google, Twitter and Facebook are mining our data. Our data is taken and sold to advertising companies who then can create highly specialized advertisements based on our personal interests as suggested by the contents of your online accounts. This information can range from email addresses in your gmail account to contacts in your smartphones to your credit card number. This information is collected and stored indefinitely and is not deleted when you close an account.

This invasion of privacy is limited in Europe. New laws may be passed to require companies to delete collected information upon request.  In America the only legislative restrictions are in place to protect medical information and children 13 and younger.

Is this kind of specialized advertising  necessary? Email providers existed for years with traditional advertising.  Facebook provides chat and online photo albums. What necessitate privacy intrusion for this service? More likely it is not necessary and the fact that they had access to hundreds of millions of peoples personal information. Greed caused this abuse.

People make a decision to use the service. They agree to the terms of service and must abide by it. However the companies that require your compliance with these agreement do not hold themselves to such constraints. Google was caught  rewriting tracking cookies for Safaris browsers something not allowed by Apple. Twitter was caught collecting address books from users cellphones without their permission. These violations won’t be reversed until companies are punished.

If an Anonymous hacker did something similar, he’d be labled a thief and a criminal. Maybe get arrested by the FBI. But Google does it and when caught promise to never do it again and nothing happens. What a joke.


One response to “Privacy Arms Race

  1. As you point out, there does appear to be a double standard in regards to privacy and law enforcement when applied to business or activists. It’s hard to imagine much being done about this as so few have awareness or concern.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s