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Old 2010-08-18, 15:52   Link #1
Kaijo
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We Know Everything About You (The loss of privacy)

Someone in a forum stated this better than I could, so I'm first gonna copy and paste:

"I've often wondered who will be able to run for political office in forty or fifty years. People, especially youg people, seem to be so naive about posting things online. For years online forums and message boards have been a place where people vented. Now sites like Myspace, Facebook and others are creating such a low barrier to entry that almost every middle and high school child in the United States has some kind of web presence. What many fail to understand is that once something is posted or "said" on the internet it never goes away...ever. The internet is also quite easy to search if you know what you're doing. This dangerous combination means that everything you write to a message board can be found at some point in the future and "can and will be used against you". Any kind of off-color comment or joke you ever made online, even if your intention wasn't to hurt anyone, is public knowledge.

Employers already know about this. BusinessWeek recently ran an article called "You are what you post" that talked about some of the implications for job seeking but I think the arena where this will really get the consultants salivating is politics. There are so few people who are able to hold their tongue and never offend anyone. In the past politicians have relied primarily on obscuring and making it difficult to find embarrassing things about their past. When today's teens start running for political office these things will only be an internet search away. Remember that posting to that email discussion list about STDs you made when you were 15? How about that time someone on a message board got you mad and you called them a racial slur? You may have forgotten these incidents but the internet has not and neither will your enemies.

I wonder if the politicians of the future will need to be groomed from birth to have no defects and think very, very carefully before ever speaking. On the other hand our society may end up becoming more accepting of faults which would not be an all bad outcome. This remains to be seen but in the meantime those of us who have always tried to think about how what we say today could come back (for better or worse) in the future are going to be much better off than the indiscriminate masses."

/end paste

What do you think of this new world we're getting into? It's quite easy for someone to track you down, and put up a list of everything you've said or done online. While some might call this creepy, I'd say we're entering an age we've been through before.

Way back when (and still do somewhat today), we had the era of small towns, when everyone knew everyone else, and also knew what you did (due to the wonder of gossip). It was just something you learned to live with; that everyone knew everything about everyone else. We accepted that and moved on.

So despite how we may feel about it now, we have to accept that something we post, some picture someone posted of us, or some club we join will come back to haunt us someday. That's just reality.

Is it a good thing or a bad thing? What's the effect on privacy?

People are already being hired and fired on the basis of a facebook picture that someone posts of you, perhaps holding a beer. The UK has cameras everywhere. The US is asking people to step in front of machines that look through your clothes, save the pictures, and can upload them anywhere... perhaps online. Even Disney can have these issues... Ever hear of Splash Mountain? It takes a picture at a certain point, which some people take advantage of. Google "Flashmountain" (NSFW pictures!) if you want.

Everything you say or do is recorded forever, or at least that's the future it seems we're heading towards. What do you think?
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Old 2010-08-18, 16:04   Link #2
roriconfan
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Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. The rest is pretense.
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Old 2010-08-18, 16:10   Link #3
OceanBlue
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Hopefully, people become more tolerant. I personally feel that we're at a point where a bunch of things people would've rather not thought about are being forced into public view, and people don't know what to do about it.
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Old 2010-08-18, 16:21   Link #4
synaesthetic
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This is a good thing. The less able politicians are to lie, the better off we, the citizens, are.

I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat, folks. It really is us versus them. Politicians do not have our best interests at heart.
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Old 2010-08-18, 16:22   Link #5
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That may be a bit of an exaggeration imo. Even presidents of the past, even before the days of the inet, would be under scrutiny. There are doubtless many people they've known throughout their formative years at school or what have you who could easily make statements on local newspapers, which could easily spread around to other sources. The inet is simply another means by which such people could say things about politicians, another news source that just happens to be more accessible to the public and easier to capitalize on. That's the main reason why some people consider it more of a threat.

Politicians have some if not vast control over privately owned media such as newspapers, TV channels and whatnot. Just look at Berlusconi and how he owns half the TV stations in Italy. However, the inet is for anyone and everyone. They have no control over what goes on around the inet. But I wouldn't say that's inherently to do with the inet itself, but with the people. Even before, people had ways of spreading the word about politicians just as easily. If someone shouts something out, someone else will hear and talk about it in turn. The matter is simply that information spreads faster these days and is recorded far more efficiently. Everyone should be more careful of what they say, not just politicians.
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Old 2010-08-18, 16:58   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OceanBlue View Post
Hopefully, people become more tolerant. I personally feel that we're at a point where a bunch of things people would've rather not thought about are being forced into public view, and people don't know what to do about it.
That isn't a good thing because we need the sensitivity to pain for this :

Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This is a good thing. The less able politicians are to lie, the better off we, the citizens, are.

I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat, folks. It really is us versus them. Politicians do not have our best interests at heart.
It doesn't matter anyway IMO. It is another technical revolution, and how much you post on your FB or whatnot will depend on extroversion and introversion - a basic character foundation that is inborn.

Yoko is right though, we have to be careful about what we say or write. Credibility and personal beliefs work hand in hand, neither of them are behind each other.

There is nothing wrong with shouting out, however there are a few disclaimers to use in whatever you write :

1. In my opinion - this is based on your beliefs.

2. Might/may/a possibility/raised suspicions - useful for dealing with big people. I used this to get away from a really annoying paralegal acting as though she has got a license. I didn't accuse her, I only suspected her,so it made it so much easier for my manager to cover me.

3. So-and-so wrote that.... - This is one of my favourites to use, even IRL. It annoys the heck out of almost everyone - in order to even start counterarguing, they have to disprove the source and/or its logic. It makes it much more generic considering the fact that people don't spend alot of time in libraries. Marketers tend to use argumentum ad hominem / populatum / ignoratium to sidetrack you, but as long as you keep pulling him/her back to the proof of your argument, there isn't anywhere else to run.

And of course, always write in good language, clarity of thought (straight to the point) and with some civility. Sarcasm is best posed with politically correct speech. With regards to propriety in serious writing, I always use the 3P sequence (special thanks to my GP teachers in high school, and to a certain perverted friend who drew out the sequence and quoted it as a *ahem* )

Point---> Proof---> Pertinence.

Never fails to piss off people who write without thinking, always turn religious and ideological arguments into stalemates, and convinces everyone else.

And ultimately - the most brilliant and obvious thing ever devised to aid diction : you can write whatever you want as long as you can back it up. And it can effectively invalidate all sorts lawsuits related to slander (provided that the judge is fair).
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Old 2010-08-18, 17:54   Link #7
mindovermatter
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I never use my real name for signing up for anything on the web, so my web me and my real me have no correlation. Even my fb, I have all the privacy settings turned way up, and I closely monitor my friends list.
but anyway, I don't have much to hide. I am who I am, and I don't fake being someone else.
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Old 2010-08-18, 19:20   Link #8
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Facebook is going to reveal your "private" information eventually, via another sudden privacy update. It's also already selling your information to third parties; how do you think it remains free to use? *You* are the product.

And no one is truly anonymous. Just using information from this forum, I could probably find out more information, and eventually deduce names and locations of people. It's not that hard now, and it will only become easier.

But the main point was that the internet doesn't forget, and thus what you post will come back to haunt you someday. Even if you don't post, your friends will post about you, upload pictures of you, etc. So it's basically stupid to assume you can hide. It's like yelling all your information out loud, then acting disturbed and surprised when someone is able to find you because of it; shows a distinctly lack of knowledge about the times we live in.
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Old 2010-08-18, 19:25   Link #9
Hooves
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Facebook is going to reveal your "private" information eventually, via another sudden privacy update. It's also already selling your information to third parties; how do you think it remains free to use? *You* are the product.
Well.. Good thing I never made a Facebook yet.

Quote:
And no one is truly anonymous. Just using information from this forum, I could probably find out more information, and eventually deduce names and locations of people. It's not that hard now, and it will only become easier.
If you truly do find out where people are located, please do not kill us...

Quote:
But the main point was that the internet doesn't forget, and thus what you post will come back to haunt you someday. Even if you don't post, your friends will post about you, upload pictures of you, etc. So it's basically stupid to assume you can hide. It's like yelling all your information out loud, then acting disturbed and surprised when someone is able to find you because of it; shows a distinctly lack of knowledge about the times we live in.
This fact makes so many people scared of the internet these days, since the fact that technology is slowly growing, the fact also remains that eventually people will know about you and disturb your sense of "privacy" on the internet life.
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Old 2010-08-18, 19:49   Link #10
mindovermatter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Facebook is going to reveal your "private" information eventually, via another sudden privacy update. It's also already selling your information to third parties; how do you think it remains free to use? *You* are the product.

And no one is truly anonymous. Just using information from this forum, I could probably find out more information, and eventually deduce names and locations of people. It's not that hard now, and it will only become easier.

But the main point was that the internet doesn't forget, and thus what you post will come back to haunt you someday. Even if you don't post, your friends will post about you, upload pictures of you, etc. So it's basically stupid to assume you can hide. It's like yelling all your information out loud, then acting disturbed and surprised when someone is able to find you because of it; shows a distinctly lack of knowledge about the times we live in.
this is true. I know someone who used to throw a fit every time someone took a picture of him because he was afraid someone would photoshop it and post it somewhere. People called him paranoid, but I think deep down people knew he had a legit worry
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Old 2010-08-18, 20:30   Link #11
Vexx
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I believe the president of Google had something to say about it recently. He was stating the obvious - that the Internet never forgets. But that unless attitudes towards people being flawed human beings changes -- many people are simply going to have to change their names to try and sidestep "youthful indiscretions".

There's a book by Arthur C. Clarke I recommend to people called "The Light of Other Days" (c. 2000) ... it postulates the invention of a "worm-hole cam" that can display events from any point in time and space. It gets out into the "wild" and *everyone* has one. Interesting predictive value...

Privacy is a relatively recent and possibly transient notion. Most of human history - there was no privacy. Everyone in the tribe pretty much knew who was doing what. Everyone in the village, etc.
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Old 2010-08-18, 20:42   Link #12
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but in a society that's based on lies we need privacy to hide the lies..

(no, I don't fully believe that it just sounded fun to say)
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Old 2010-08-18, 21:34   Link #13
Kaijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooves View Post
Well.. Good thing I never made a Facebook yet.
One of your friends probably has one, and has pictures of you on it, heh. Or you could do what I did; make one with a false name and picture, and fill it with nonsense information. Let your friends know who you are, and you can still post some status updates, but it gets linked with a different name. "Pollute the well" so to speak.

Quote:
If you truly do find out where people are located, please do not kill us...
Heh, naw. I know where some live now, people that I don't particularly care for. But I'm not the vengeance-taking type. And right now, it's a bit of a hassle to go through all the steps to find someone; just putting it out there that it *is* a possibility, and that you can end up ticking someone off who would do it.

Consider that photo's are getting "geotag" abilities that say where the picture was taken. For a small fee, I can track your cell phone down to a general location, and then even more with the GPS it probably has. With a FOIA I can get voting records that list a current address. With a little social engineering, I can use the IP address I got off you and deduce a location.

Many people severely underestimate how easy it is to find someone; and hiding behind 7 proxies doesn't matter much. That's partly why I created this thread, to make people aware, and consider how they'll respond to it, and what it means for the future, because this stuff is only going to get easier, especially if you pay attention to the head of Google.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Privacy is a relatively recent and possibly transient notion. Most of human history - there was no privacy. Everyone in the tribe pretty much knew who was doing what. Everyone in the village, etc.
To a degree, yes. But it was limited to your village/tribe, a small group of people. And you were within arms reach so if someone said something about you, you could go up to them and pound their face in. Nowadays, the whole world can know something about you and pass it on, with little chance of reprisal, even when the information was taken out of context.
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Old 2010-08-18, 21:48   Link #14
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The only sure way to keep something private is to not talk about it!

At least until we get those ME machines from Darker Than Black...
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Old 2010-08-18, 23:48   Link #15
Vexx
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
To a degree, yes. But it was limited to your village/tribe, a small group of people. And you were within arms reach so if someone said something about you, you could go up to them and pound their face in. Nowadays, the whole world can know something about you and pass it on, with little chance of reprisal, even when the information was taken out of context.
Aye, now THAT is pretty new... someone being able to stab at average people via slander and defamation with no repercussions at all.
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Old 2010-08-18, 23:55   Link #16
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Originally Posted by mindovermatter View Post
this is true. I know someone who used to throw a fit every time someone took a picture of him because he was afraid someone would photoshop it and post it somewhere. People called him paranoid, but I think deep down people knew he had a legit worry
There is almost nowhere anyone can go with out being seen by some camera. People ether have a personal security cam, phones, traffic cams etc. I see why he would be worried. I don't give out any personal info on the interwebz ether. Heck I don't even like saying which hemisphere I live in.
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Old 2010-08-19, 00:21   Link #17
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The unspoken question: Why do you expect perfection from your politicians?

And, if the assumption is that all politicians are up to no good, then there's no point discussing the political angle anyway. You'll always get a bad government, because those who are qualified are too disillusioned to run for office, leaving a ample space for scum to take leadership, thus perpetuating a vicious circle.

As for the main point about the loss of privacy, it's as Vexx said: It's a relatively "new" concept, possibly not more than 200 to 300 years old, arising from the growing power of individual freedoms, one of them being the freedom from prying eyes.

Interacting with other people necessarily means losing control over some aspects of your private life. You would literally have to live like a hermit to protect your privacy completely.
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Old 2010-08-19, 01:00   Link #18
Random32
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why do you need social engineering to figure out the location of an ip address?

personally, I register to sites with fake names/email/etc and hide behind Tor for sites that I want a bit more privacy with. not perfect, not bulletproof, but acceptable enough for me.
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Old 2010-08-19, 06:08   Link #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by synaesthetic View Post
This is a good thing. The less able politicians are to lie, the better off we, the citizens, are.

I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat, folks. It really is us versus them. Politicians do not have our best interests at heart.
They're still able to lie pretty easily, just have the media take down articles and have Fox news report the "truth". Even though we have a nice archive, they have no problem telling fibs. There's plenty of other stuff that can be dug up too, but this is all due to my tin hat, no lies here.

Loss of privacy is dangerous when the people collecting the information are the ones with secrets. How many of the web giants convincing us that "we have nothing to hide," are operating transparently? Are any of them really open about the data they are collecting on us and selling? quis custodiet ipsos custodes?.

My biggest concern isn't the data that you are giving people permission to use (i.e. by typing crap into an internet forum and linking back to your persona), but the stuff that is being collected without your permissions by you browsing the web. Almost every website you visit is sending your browsing history back to google and facebook, and it's only going to get worse with HTML5 coming. (Cross domain messaging, geolocation, web sockets, etc)

I could write a whole book on methods that can be used to track browsing history without a user permission (or knowledge), I won't bother going into detail, but I'd recommend anyone who is concerned about their privacy to use Privoxy or similar, and take an interest in what your browser is sending where. (Also, if you do use Tor like the above poster, use a separate browser which you use only with Tor.)
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Old 2010-08-19, 07:38   Link #20
Random32
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Another thing to add for Tor.
JanusVM or TorVM is better than just running Tor Vidalia bundle or whatever
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