I realise I’ve hidden this blog now – deliberately but not completely. It is because I need some space to breathe and this is it, my only space.

I’ve watched a few movies this weekend which has been an absolute treat. I watched Moon. Which was not what I expected and altogether wonderful. I watched The Box which was not what I expected and altogether terrible and I watched Where The Wild Things Are which was everything I expected and then a teaspoon more.

Sometimes movies shake me inside but my mind can’t lasoo that animal in and tame whatever is going on. Something about the prickly nature of humanity bloomed across the three movies and I can’t hedge it, so I’m a bit out of sorts.
Thinking that maybe if I could analyse it, find out what concerned me or what cheered me or what made me think, then, then I would have freedom to sleep. But I can’t work it out, something deep down in the dirt of them is rotten or rotting.

I think this is why I’ve hidden my blog too, because something is just not right with it. An arrow gone astray, still has to hit something doesn’t it?


What I Think About Online Privacy

No. Such. Thing.

</ end short story >

< begin massive rant >

I was a victim of careless talk - ww2 posterOnce upon a time when our social circles were so much smaller, the great grandmothers warned, “loose lips might sink ships”.

The only thing that has changed is that now, our social networks are that much larger, thanks to technology.

Are you worried about Facebook owning your photos, worried about YouTube owning your videos? Worried about your iPhone owning your location? Then don’t use it, becauseĀ  you can’t control it. Whatever was yours has now left your mind through your mouth, through your fingers and you’ve published it online, into a world where copyright and ownership and attribution are just shadows of what they would be in the offline world, offering little protection.

I’ve worked in telecommunications, wholesale, marketing, retail and all of the time with companies struggling to protect your data. It only takes one simple mistake, one human mistake and everything you believe is being kept securely, is published. One set of loose lips, or in the case of technology, one set of loose code. So I don’t know where this assumption of privacy comes from. I can tick every box on FB saying that I don’t want my data shared, but intentionally or unintentionally it will be. That data is out of my hands when I put it online.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg has basically said privacy is dead. I don’t agree at all, privacy has always been available to those who know how to have it.

I’m sorry but if you leave your diary on a public bus and expect everyone not to read it simply because it has your name on the front and reading it would be the wrong thing to do, then you’ve been raised in a far more moral world than mine. The Internet is a big noisy crowded public bus, those that follow me on Twitter know how much I hate buses, but buses are part of my routine. If I can’t handle people reading over my shoulder or encroaching on my personal space, then I have to get off the bus don’t I? Because really arguing with one person is not goingto change the nature of the beast. Should I blame the bus company for not doing more to protect my rights? Perhaps they could fill the pass with personal space protectors so that I don’t have to put up with the uncomfortable feeling that someone might read what I’m writing or breathe on my head. Stupid extremes. I know I am going to have little to no privacy hopping on a public bus. I think it is the same with the Internet.

Why argue that Facebook is breaching your privacy when you have signed up to Foursquare that knows exactly where you are? Why complain that Facebook is abusing the data you gave them, when Google has for years been taking data that you haven’t given them. Why is it ok for developers to use APIs to trawl your data for the purpose of annoying applications, but companies can’t trawl my data to serve me information that is appropriate for me?

I just think there a lot of peopleĀ  jumping on the Facebook is Evil bandwagon, without realising all these sites are, to more or less extent.

Aah but what about some of these exciting Facebook alternatives? What about Diaspora offering you the option to control your own social network from a server under your bed. Sounds great. Data still travels over the same network, still gets handled by routines written by programmers who may or may not share your ethical world view and will eventually be stored somewhere with anything from adequate to massively inadequate security procedures. It just offers you an alternative to FB, not a solution to the privacy issues that surround online publishing.

Maybe I am just a cynic, but the only safe place to store data is offline, on a disk, encrypted, vacuum sealed, locked in a safe, buried in sand, a million miles from the nearest magnet.

Better yet, don’t share private data online or have loose lips..

</ end massive rant >