Let’s talk about the state of your privacy on the internet. In the Aug. 11th AGL eDigest, I started down the privacy path a bit. With the recent Google news, I thought I would add to that with this missive.
It appears there is no end to which social media companies will go to get into your business. This latest transgression is over Google tracking you regardless of whether location was on or off, or if you told them not to.
Expecting them to change becomes an exercise in futility. It is absurd the hoops one, still, has to jump through to protect one’s privacy – even after the Facebook debacle. Frankly, there should be a “one button” option to turn off all tracking and kill your data…period. This should be the default and if you want to share your data, it should be made painfully obvious that is going to happen.
After the Facebook fiasco, it is becoming increasingly obvious, IMHO, that the current government is, woefully, old guard and mostly unaware of what is really happening in technology.
That was made obvious with the Zuckerberg hearings in Congress. Add to that the current administration’s drive to seemingly let just about every business run unregulated, either axing or diluting what regulations already exists (aka, Net Neutrality). Subsequently, this scenario makes the outlook for putting any kind of legislation in place, to protect us lowly citizens against such invasive actions, close to nil.
Now, there is a segment of the population that really does not care, or does not understand the implications of such invasive tactics – at least until they are victims of such obliviousness. However, there are a couple of arguments around this that should be considered, preemptively. One is, that if you do have your head buried in the sand and do not take privacy seriously, you pose a risk to any number of scenarios. Malfeasants can use your data to perpetrate a boatload of nefarious activities – from compromising public safety to invading your connected individuals’ privacy.
What is most irritating about all of this is that very little has emerged, in the way of moving forward to rein in data miners, since the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica fiasco. Facebook took a bit of a stock hit from it, which cost the company a couple of billion, but I am sure it did not worry Zuckerberg all the much. Moreover, nothing, what so ever, happened to Cambridge.
We have seen this scenario over and over in the past few years. Google’s actions are typical of just about every internet presence out there. It is beginning to appear that user data is becoming more valuable than gold and bringing out the “best of greed” in organizations.
Going forward, the Internet of Everything/Everyone (IoX), smart “X,” social media, and other platforms connected wirelessly, pose a monumental opportunity for malfeasants to capitalize on lack of control over one’s data. That will just increase, by orders of magnitude, breach potential.
At this stage of the game, it has been proven over and over that social media and other organizations cannot be trusted to adhere to the users’ wishes, or act responsibly with user data. As much as I am not a fan of regulation as the norm, I do feel that it is time for governments, around the world and not just here, to make organizations toe the line. If they do not, make them hurt.
Along with that comes the mission to make the user both responsible, and protected. They should be responsible if they are negligent, but they should also protected by making it easy for them to be responsible.
In closing, I am going back to what I said earlier, if I do not want to be part of your game, I want to be able to push a single button and be guaranteed that my actions, and subsequent wishes, will be respected.