Pop-up blockers, Virtual Private Networks, a second or third email account so that businesses aren’t able to use my personal info for the marketing practices. I post three things a year to Facebook, all written in Japanese and they always have something to do with some event connected to my daughter. [This makes it less of an issue because most people are lazy and aren’t going to Google the translation for me writing “Happy Birthday Bug, Daddy misses you”.] I’ve even removed my info from databases that can backtrace phone numbers or email simply because I don’t need someone prying into things they don’t understand.
My ex’s mother was a big fan of only looking at the first line of a posting. There’s a court decision from 20 years ago where someone had stolen my identity and used it to make a series of purchases. The info provided was incomplete, the social security number not mine. And had she looked I was no longer a resident of Florida when it occurred! But it didn’t stop her from accusing me a being a deadbeat. Funny thing was, the court recognized the issue, had someone read the damn body of the text, they would have known that! Hell, I hold a government sponsored security clearance, do you think financial issues aren’t one of the biggest red flags out there? Believe me, it’s easier telling them about anti-depression medication than about financial disclosure forms. The 157 page clearance form I fill out every few years is not fun!
Information is so much more available, but it’s only snippets of the entire situation. Companies trying to profit from offering it up in some form for you to purchase. I know at times even the stupid mis-entered info from someone fat-finger typing causes a database to show your middle initial being M when it most definitely is W!
I agree with celebrities that want their children kept out of the news. Unless they have opened themselves up to doing something dumb, like a drug arrest or hit a car, why should I care about how they were dressed when they went to kindergarten? I don’t care what any of you are wearing right now, I hope you feel the same way about how I’m dressed.
Economists, like myself, would tell you that there is no such thing as “perfect information”. You can tell someone you have nothing to hide, until they find something you might be embarrassed about. Some college photo of you riding a dolphin at a bar? That t-shirt that sounded funny, but really wasn’t? Ever made a comment about religion? I’ve had to turn people down for jobs, people who were so qualified you would have offered them the job before they left the interview because you were afraid someone else would get them first. Why? They wrote something stupid last week, or last month that forces me to question their judgement. Company policy at it’s finest!
In the past you could have been a member of the KKK and been elected to political office. Okay in some parts of this country you might still be able to, sadly.
A friend posted a picture of her dog and later found it being used as an advertisement. The company crawled the web and laces like Facebook or Pintrest own your photo unless you clearly place a watermark of your own on the image. Google is just a giant marketing company, a very successful one at that. Apple doesn’t sell your info, but half the apps require some location data or access to your phonebook. Why does Candy Crush care when my mother last called me?
I’ll leave you with this horrifying thought. The I.R.S. recently had yet another data breach and 100,000 individuals are now scrambling to ensure they aren’t the future victims of identity thief. All because the government doesn’t spend what your average local bank spends on protecting data. I won’t bore you with the exact numbers, but when was the last time someone walked into a bank and requested at gunpoint personal info? Doesn’t happen. Yet, the government which does tag every individual with a serial number [insert Nazi Germany jokes for the paranoid out there]. This single number can kill you for the next 7 years if in the hands of the wrong person, longer if you don’t know it happened.
Sure I write about what area I live in, big deal. Someone would have to read every single posting and start a very serious Venn Diagram to locate me within reason. You want to come over for tea, just send me a note. Faster than stalking!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Do Not Disturb.”