Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

National ID System Replaced by Facebook

I’m always writing about privacy and my recommendations on protecting your personal information. The success of social networks like Facebook has proven that most people really don’t care about privacy. The same people who may have signed a petition against a National ID number now share their info willingly with applications on Facebook.

On July 26th, 2006, the American Civil Liberties Union released a brilliant video on how our sensitive information may be used in the future. I’m certain I laughed my ass off the first time I saw it. Little did I know how close to reality it might be in just a few years. It seemed like a joke at the time but watching it now I have a completely different opinion. Instead of fearing a government, we should watch out for the companies who have partnered with Facebook.

 

Click to View National ID Video
pizzapalace

The purpose of this video was to help the ALCU in their fight against a National ID system.  While it was designed to be a warning, this video can now be used as an example for creating a great social application interface.

I’m as guilty as many sharing my information although I do have my limits. Unless there’s a good reason I won’t be broadcasting my location especially when we’re on vacation. I won’t accept invitations that allow unknown companies free access to information I think I’m sharing with just my friends. As the owner of WinPatrol, so much of my information is public that it’s hardly worth worrying about.  Ironically, having multiple sources know my information can even be useful.

How about you? Have your thoughts changed since you first viewed this video years ago?  Does it create fear or does it inspire you to create a new product that might utilize a users available information?

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never been on Facebook, Twitter or any of other the other social networking sites; and I continue to ignore or reject the few repeated invitations I receive from friends and acquaintances.

I use a SPAM filter with my email program and have a "junk" email address which I use for communications with anonymous corporations.

If do a Google search for myself, there are many pages of other people who have the same/similar name as mine, until eventually I do find a few very old and stale references to me dating back over ten years.

And the best part is - I can go downtown to run a few errands and there is a very strong possibility that I will run into somebody I know and we will be delighted to have a face-to-face conversation for a few minutes, which I find to be so much more rewarding.

Now, if you'll excuse me - I'm going to order a pizza from the place I've been calling for the past five years - and they *never* seem to remember who I am...which is just fine with me.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seeing the damage being done on social networks, inspired me to cancel all of my accounts on Facebook and other sites. Just too intrusive and very stealthy.
Being at that age, when friends I went to school with are no longer with us, I don't feel the urge to pour my heart out on social networks. I cherish the ones I still communicate with via the stage coach. Or, what passes for the coach, Canada Post.
I do bank online. But,the passwords reside in my head, not on the computer.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Georges V said...

The first comment (here above) stated " I can go downtown to run a few errands and there is a very strong possibility that I will run into somebody I know ..."
Probably in a few years we will not have to be lucky to bump into someone we know. CCTV cameras and webcams will be that many around, that you will be able to zoom in from your home, to every single street and watch anyone. Soon enough you will see somebody you know.

The perfect dream for Big Brother which is becoming already a reality for the UK police (and others probably)

I got a speed ticket in Germany, sent to my home address (Belgium). There was a picture joined to the fine letter, showing a female person in the seat next to the driver. (only eyes were hidden). This person happened to be my unique legal wife.

But where is the privacy today ?

This kind of world scares me more than Facebook or anything else which you choose to adhere to, by own decision.

Remember prophetic TV series "The Prisoner" kept in "The Village" !?
Maybe the show was not released for TV-shows in the US ?

9:49 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

I don't think it is that people don't care about privacy- they don't understand.

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Jason said...

I just moved to a new city 2 months ago and I met a new friend. We exchanged 3 emails and then corresponded with MSN Messenger. Yesterday Facebook suggested I add this person as a friend. How the hell does Facebook even know that I know this person? We have no mutual friends, and I have no 3rd party applications installed so Facebook is either combing my email and/or address book (gmail) or my MSN friends list. And I have never authorized this. Pretty worrisome.

11:47 AM  

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