Thursday, June 13, 2013


So how is that working for you? The recent announcements that the government knows more about you than you had intended should not be such a surprise.
Don’t you remember the Internet? It is all about the freedom to talk to anyone anywhere at anytime. You could go to newspapers, videos, books, and even social meetings all around. And all you ever paid for was the cost of the transportation, like tolls on a highway. Did you really think that?
Perhaps you forgot that everywhere you went you were asked for information. “It’s free, just give us your email address and password.” What do they need with your email address? And did you notice that when you clicked on an ad or some websites that other similar ads show up? You didn’t think you were being tracked?
It started with mail. You would go into a store, purchase something, give your address to have it delivered, and the next thing you know you are getting junk mail. After that was the credit card. What a great offer. You get to spend money you don’t have but every time your card was swiped another company had your purchasing history. Maybe we forgot when the Internet is plugged in, your computer (or tablet or whatever) has an IP address. This is just like your street address or phone number. It tells whomever you see on your journey who you are and where you came from.
My first experience with this “tracking” was the telephone. As soon as everyone in the office had a personal telephone instead of a shared line, management started requesting printout records of the numbers of calls made, the number of minutes of the cal and the number connected. When employees were questioned about some calls, they did not realize they were being monitored on company telephones. Then cell phones came and there was no way for monitoring calls.
As we migrated to enterprise systems the computers could be checked as never before. As a management tool, I would do weekly reports of when the computer was turned on, how many functions it did and when, and when it had downtime. These reports showed patterns that sometimes presented opportunities for advancement and at times, disciplinary action was taken.
After personnel tools were used, the ingredients of the company, all the “stuff” that goes through the network and stacks up with no one knowing what it was or how important it was to keep, was focused on. From a total paper reserve to basic mainframe technology, the “stuff” was lost and recreated again and again. Quality and naming and size and usage was the circular for evaluating the “stuff” and performing the necessary for achieving or keeping active or an agreeable timeline to be purged. The metadata became a fluid process.
So are you worried about your privacy? Get over it. Sure you can drop off Facebook or change your email address or put filters and protection software on your devices but the damage is done. If you want to drop off the grid and live in a box just remember. So many people from the government to your bank to your browser know more about you than your friends.
Other than banking information, these are things we want people to know. Where did you go to school? How many children do you have? Who are you married to? What kind of car do you have? What is your favorite food? What music do you like? Where do you shop? Where do you work? Do you have any photos of your last vacation?
The next time you pick up the phone or log onto email remember, someone out there can be watching you.

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