My information is in lots and lots of different places. I sacrifice a lot of privacy because of the nature of my business. If I wasnt so dependant on eyeballs I’d live much differently. However to participate in society on any level, privacy becomes a dead issue. Accept it. Or live in the jungle in Africa.
A CEO of a major software company declares, “You have zero privacy, get over it.” In response, the FTC states, “Millions of American consumers tell us that privacy is a grave concern to them when they are thinking about shopping online.”
Do you agree? Is privacy dead? Do you share your “status” on Facebook? Twitter? Do you have a MySpace page? A blog? Do you post your family photos on any of the above, or on Flicker?
The statement, “You have zero privacy, get over it,” was made by Scott McNealy, former chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems, in 1999. That was 10 years ago. Before the phrase “social networking” or the word “blog” entered our lexicon.
Here we are in 2009, when that statement is 100 times more true than it was 10 years ago. When you ask people if they are concerned about online privacy, they respond with a big, loud, angry “YES!” Then they hypocritically use their Facebook pages to inform the world that they are about to go on vacation. Which means that the lights are off and nobody’s home.
It isn’t just web users voluntarily giving up their privacy, it’s also corporations and government agencies gathering data as a form of intelligence. This data might be used to sell you something or it could be used to protect us in the form of Homeland Security.
Our personal information can be bought and sold. “Information brokers” sell our data to anyone with a credit card. One of the largest publicly traded information brokers in the world is a company called ChoicePoint. Last time I checked, they had 19 billion records on file. And one of their biggest customers is the US government.
So even if you don’t update your Facebook status to tell the world you just made a tuna sandwich, chances are, your phone number, your most recent address, or even your anonymous chat handle can be found on Zabasearch.com or iSearch.com. If you’ve ever committed a felony, your data may be on CriminalSearches.com Heck, just Google yourself.
At least head to Facebook and lock down your privacy settings. You get to them from the Settings –> Privacy Settings menu.
If you are reading this, you are participating in society. The price you pay is sacraficing your personal identifying information in order to get an Internet connection, credit, a car, medical attention, to go to school or buy a pair of shoes. While many citizens scream against Big Brother and corporate America abusing their trust, many will also give up all their privacy for ten% off a new pair of shoes.
All this makes it very easy for criminal hackers to commit identity theft. They use this available data to become you. Since your data is already out there, you’d better invest in identity theft protection and make sure your PC is up to date with Internet security software.
Robert Siciliano, identity theft expert, discusses background checks.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
- Time to check your Facebook Privacy settings
Did you know that, once again, Facebook has changed its privacy policies? At the top of the FB page is a lock icon. Click it for more privacy settings. What do visitors see? To view how visitors see your Facebook page, go to “Timeline and Tagging,” then hit “Review what other people see on your timeline/View
- 100 Million Facebook Profiles Published via P2P
Personal information on 100 million Facebook users has been scraped from the social media site and is being shared and download as a single file via what is called a Bittorrent. BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol used for distributing large amounts of data. Facebook takes on the issue is the data that was scraped wasn’t private at
- The Consequences of a Teacher’s Facebook Comments
We should all know by now that nothing you post on Facebook is private. You may have gone through all the privacy settings to thoroughly lock down your profile, but even so, you can never be sure that your posts will remain hidden. Facebook alters their privacy settings so frequently, you never know when or
- Burglars Use Social to target Victims
So you think it’s really a far-out left-field idea: a burglar studying Facebook and other social media to select homes to rob. Well think again. A survey, conducted by home security expert Friedland, found: 78 percent of burglars use social media to select targets. 74 percent touted the virtues of Google Street View. 54 percent pointed out how risky
- Social Media Banned, Creates Identity Theft Risk
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert The Marines recently banned soldiers from using social media sites such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. This is for two reasons. First, because they fear that these sites’ lack of security may allow malware to infiltrate government computers. And second, they’re concerned about the potential for leaked military data. Military personnel
One Response to “Privacy Is Dead, Identity Theft Prospers”
[…] reports Lexis Nexis, who owns ChoicePoint, an information broker I blogged about recently who was hacked in 2005, was just hacked again this week. LexisNexis Group notified more […]
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.