I’ve come to the conclusion that online privacy is pretty much dead. Remember the early days of the internet, where everyone used fake names or nicknames and didn’t enter their real location because there were creepy people out there in cyberspace that you were supposed to hide from?
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More
Then along came Facebook, which wasn’t interested in your pseudonym: it wanted your real name and birthdate, please. Twitter defaults to public profiles and Google has now gone and shared pretty much everything you’ve ever told one of its services with the rest of the Google family. Add cookies, IP addresses, tracking share buttons and location-based sharing to the mix, and it’s a wonder the creepy people haven’t found you yet.
While all this tracking is useful if you’d like to see targeted ads (haha), as this infographic shows, it’s also pretty scary — whether you’re doing something illegal or just feel like your every activity shouldn’t be recorded.
Facebook and Google are undergoing privacy audits for the next 20 years — Facebook for failing to tell users how they collect and share their information and Google for integrating Google Buzz into Gmail without users’ consent. Now, I don’t know about you, but does that sound like the type of company you’d like to have access to everything from your current location to your latest status update? Consumers often aren’t given extensive options to control what information they share with these websites or other internet users — and some users don’t check their privacy settings at all.