Following yesterday’s post on who’s afraid of losing privacy, we found ourselves asking: is there really no way of keeping totally private if you’re online? Well, it seems the answer is pretty clear: no. As long as you have an e-mail address, a smartphone and you’re using search engines (I’m leaving Social Networking websites out of this because that’s a no brainer), you can rest assured not only there’s information about you out there that’s accessible to other people, but this information will never disappear completely, even if you wanted to delete it some day. Sure, you can deactivate all your online accounts, but the information that you shared will remain shared as long as the online profiles you’ve shared it with still exist.
Basically, the only way to stop existing online is to travel back in time and refrain yourself from ever touching a computer.
But that would be no fun, would it?
Your online presence is a trade-off, as is your existence in the 21st century. It doesn’t matter if you use the Internet for business or pleasure and it doesn’t matter if you use your mobile phone to call your girlfriend or to close a business deal, you sacrifice your privacy in doing so.
Privacy is a hot topic again these days.
Twitter has acknowledged that after iPhone users opt to have the app search their contact list, the company stores names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers on its servers for 18 months.
Google made Wall Street Journal’s front page on Friday, after journalists finding out that a secret code in it’s ads tricked “Apple’s Safari web-browsing software” into allowing Google to monitor what iPhone users were doing on the internet. The search giant disabled the code after receiving a call from the WSJ.
And NYTimes.com publishes here an extensive feature on how companies learn your secrets.
Now, before panicking, let’s take five minutes to consider some facts, in order to look at the whole picture…