The issue of ‘Privacy’ has been a major bone of contention ever since the earliest forms of networking and distribution of information. Now with the highest number of people connected to the Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, fears about privacy and the line between public and private content is being severely questioned.
While the video ‘How the Internet can Read Your Mind’ [http://www.shockmd.com/2012/05/02/how-the-internet-can-read-your-mind/] explains the rudimentary process in which certain programs are able to formulate and estimate to an extent a “picture of your life,” the video in my opinion does not convey the dangers of these programs and how they can lead to personal information being misused for ulterior marketing ploys. The video explains how programs are able to pinpoint a persons location to within 100 metres using GPS coordinates available from Twitter’s tracking system. The same process is used to estimate who you may become friends with in the future and can assume your sexuality with an 80% rate of success. Though suggesting the many “positive” aspects of a program storing a litany of personal information, such as “identifying medical conditions” & “recommending good places to eat,” the video forgets to mention some of the negative elements of companies collecting personal data.
For one this information that is being filed has not been directly consented by the vast constituency of users. Many people who use these social media outlets are unaware that their personal information is being harvested and used for these networking companies gain. The article ‘Twitter is Tracking You on the Web,’ explains how, “every time you visit a site that has a follow button, a ‘tweet this’ button, or a hovercard, Twitter is recording your behaviour. It is transparently watching your movements and storing them somewhere for later use. Right now, that data will make better suggestions for accounts you might want to follow.” If we take into consideration how much we rely on computers for personal day-to-day activities it’s fairly obvious that a large portion of things we do online are private. Obviously I do not mean this in any suggestive manner, although many of our activities online such as banking, what we might Google or order online, and conversations with friends and family