mandag den 25. august 2008

Location Privacy: Are you over it yet?

Giv os dit liv så giver vi dig mening med livet ... Google/Facebook/Microsoft anno 2020? For at være en aktiv del af det moderne samfund (på nettet) er du afhængig af en lang række globale tjenester, som alle sammen giver dig mening med livet og dine venners liv, dine kollegers liv din families liv ... Det er alt sammen godt, men hvad hvis man en dag gerne vil melde sig ud? Hvor gør man det? Hvordan gør man? Og kan det overhovedet lade sig gøre? I was here ... og det bliver du ved med at være - måske. Hvad nu hvis en af de der globale tjenester faldt i hænderne på en eller anden slyngelstat - Iran, Nordkorea eller måske Rusland - hvad kunne alle oplysningerne om os allesammen så kunne (mis)bruges til? Skræmmende ikke sandt, men lige nu er det mere skræmmende hvis nettet og dets muligheder ikke var der ...

Give us your life and we will give you the meaning of life - Google/Facebook/Microsoft year 2020? In order to be an active part of moderne society (on the Net) you need quite a few global services given to you for 'free', to you, to your friends, to your collegues, to your family... All very good but what if you one day decided to quit to get out? Where do you sign out? How do you sign out? Is it at all possible? I was here - and I still am - maybe. What if one of these global services one day fell in the hands of those so called bandits states such as Iran, North Korea or Russia? What would then happen to all those personal data? How could the be (mis)used against us? A scary thought but not as scary right now as the thought of not having the Net and it's services ...


Seems like we don't hear much anymore about location privacy. In an op-ed piece today in the Wall Street Journal, L. Gordon Crovitz thinks we "got over" the concerns we had about many privacy issues. He cited several areas of privacy concerns that seemed to have vanished. For example, he cites an AOL study in Britain that found that 84% of people said they would not reveal personal income information online but that 89% of them willingly did. He provided a litany of other examples such as the fact that Amazon "closely records our choices of books" and that Google "scans emails to deliver relevant ads" as well as electronic tolls that record our location.

These digital examples ignore some of basic things that have always been around. Your name and address, for most of us, are in the phone book. If you gave out your business card, we know where you work too. Adding in the digital information such as profiles on LinkedIn or Facebook, you have probably listed your place of business, past associations, clubs, etc. So for about 90% of your day, just about anyone can find where you are. If we add in your travel time, your location is likely recognized by your cell phone. If you have a "friend finder" over...we know where you are.


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