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07 Aug

Privacy: Is there any left?

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Picking up on the last post about “smart” online advertising, let’s touch base on privacy and if there is any left in the social, mobile, local world. Have you heard the phrase “data is the new oil?” All the “free” services that you use daily like free Google search, Facebook, Twitter are not exactly, well, free.

You are getting these services in exchange of your privacy-one that you give up day by day, bit by bit. The social media model itself is based on the premise that the data that you voluntarily give away to the social-based sites can be then sold to potential advertisers.

It is a different story that from the advertiser’s perspective, they may not be really getting an accurate representation of their customer base from the social media sites. Haven’t we all heard stories about “fake” Facebook accounts and Twitter followers that were purchased?

Like oil, data as a resource is too precious. But unlike oil, it is a resource that's unlimited. Millions of us are generating it-everyday and will continue to do so.  And the new Web-based tech giants will go to great lengths to get a handle on our data. Even companies like Google, who claim to be pursuing lofty ideals like “do no evil”, have in the past, undertaken some sneaky tactics to get data from us.

Facebook is known for its ever-changing, flimsy privacy policies. The question is, do users care? Are they even aware that their online lives have been intruded? At what point does ‘smart’ become ‘creepy’? In the online world, there is no such thing as private data. If you care too much about privacy, best way to protect it is to not share anything online. Because once you do, it is just a resource-one that can be mined, and sold- just like oil!

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Read 4015 times Last modified on Friday, 23 November 2012 18:26
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