Social Media Profiling: Our Privacy Under Siege
There is an important thread happening on Google+ right now that affects all of us, discussing the validity of Google’s alleged TOS stating that we are not allowed to use avatars. That we must show show our REAL picture.
These are my concerns and comments that I made on the social network:
Blog Bloke is me and I am Blog Bloke. To say anything otherwise would be schizophrenic. I am a tech author/editor and have been a fixture in blogging and social media for more than a decade. I have owned Google accounts including Blogger all of these years. In fact I have been online even longer than Google has. That speaks for itself. See, I even have my name tattooed on my forehead. It’s also somewhere else that I can’t mention, but it is kissable. So check it out.
It’s called PROFILING.
I should also mention (having once practiced law) Google set its own precedent by allowing anonymity and avatars on its accounts all these years. It also needs conformity amongst its accounts, not just a special circumstance for G+ users. Can’t suddenly change horses midstream. It ain’t right. Just saying. Especially if someone has been using the same avatar for a long time. We should have the right to privacy if we want. To hell with profiling. It’s that simple.
Unless Google is prepared to pay us all to travel to HQ on their dime and show our ID cards, who’s to know if the so-called REAL pics are for real? It is sooooo STUPID and futile.
James Thomson also said — Why would anyone consider it “hiding”? I value my privacy… and for all we know the government is working with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and G+ to condition the public… in the end this is all leading to legislation to push an Internet ID. Show your face or you can’t use the Internet. P.S. Big Brother is watching you.
You can read more comments here. As you can see Blog Bloke has been my internet persona for over a decade and in legal terms it is now a brand and become a true entity unto itself. It is also a trademark.
Facebook started all this nonsense and Google seems to be following the pied piper. It is a reason why I never actively used Facebook.
I was hoping Google would be less evil but we also have to be realistic. It is to their advantage to profile us to make their marketing more effective.
I love this pic by Chris Pirillo, superimposing his face as King Leonidas leading the Spartan last stand against the Persian onslought. In this case he’s using humour to make a point about the Google+ avatar fiasco. Says it all.
Don’t believe me? Then read this Google statement that all profiles must be public and private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011. Interestingly it goes on to say:
Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share.
So if only “full name and gender are required” why am I receiving complaints Google+ is also requiring birth dates to sign up? And if profile pics aren’t required then why not avatars?
Hmm. Now that doesn’t make sense does it.
Well I’m sure Google has a perfectly reasonable explanation for that conundrum.
But this isn’t only about avatars or birth dates. Online privacy concerns go way beyond that. It’s about geolocationing, tracking our movements, what we buy, who we consort with, our habits, and giving our private info to lord knows who.
It is PROFILING, and that is something I am not comfortable with.
You know, it wasn’t that long ago when only crooks were profiled. Now we’re all being treated like criminals and social media is enabling it.
It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee folks, and the time to take action is now. There’s something afoot here and the odor isn’t all that pleasing from my perspective.
When I was a litigator I lived by the Captain Kirk credo “the best defense is an offense”. It has always served me well.
While we’re waiting for the official word from Google we need to call them out with a preemptive strike and tell them what we think now, because it is obvious to me our privacy is under seige from social media.
Wait for someone else to do it for you and it will be too late. Speak now or forever hold your peace.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m right about this trend I will probably boycott social media and stick with my blog. But that’s just my two cents.
It’s also a reason why I believe REAL blogging is still where it’s at. It’s the safest place to be and I have control.
What about you? Do you think Social Media is attacking our privacy, and what are YOU going to do about it?