Private Identity and Personal Information - It’s Back to School Again
By guest blogger Diane Bjorling.
As many of you are aware, Blog Bloke was suspended from Google+ and he has written his thoughts and his opinions regarding what has happened to him in the following posts:
That is my hint to read them by the way to get you up to speed on what has been happening.
When Blog Bloke first approached me about writing a guest post for his blog, I was speechless. But then I thought about it and realized I should be honored … shaking but honored.
I have been thinking about what to say that might have meaning for you and realized that while people talk about privacy or profiling or any of the other important topics that have been discussed by BlogBloke, I came to realize that many people really have little understanding to the meaning of Private Identity Information and Personal Information and what Google+ is really asking people to do within their community guidelines.
It’s Time to Go Back to School…
Without treating anyone like a kid, it is important for you to realize that schools and universities have been teaching these basic concepts to our children about online safety and security for a long time.
Are you listening Google?
Part of what these people do is teach the difference between Private and Personal information through a great activity sheet.
On this sheet as you will see is a listing of how to define and know the difference between Private Identity Information and Personal information. The very first thing you will see listed on defining Private/Personal information is:
- Private Identity Information
- Full (first and last) name
- Postal address
- E-mail address
- Phone numbers
- Calling card numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Social Security number
- Mother’s maiden name
- Photos in which you can be recognized
- Personal Information
- Your age
- Whether you are male or female
- How many brothers and sisters you have
- Your favorite band
- Your favorite food
- How many pets you have
- The name of your pet
- Your opinion about an important issue
The question that begs to be asked is how come a site such as Cyber Smart understands the importance of safety and security online, and yet Google doesn’t?
When you use your human name you are putting yourself at risk! When you put your “real” photo online you put yourself at risk and it is indeed a safety issue.
If you think I am being paranoid, I found a post by Bobby of Sports Make Me Who I am who gave the best answer I can think of, especially in regards to having “real” images of oneself .. and this is from a kid.
Are you still listening Google?
The reality is that you put yourself at risk when doing this kind of behavior. The reality is that you are always at potential risk to invite stalking yourself and family, and the reality is when you put a picture of yourself online you are inviting profiling.
For the average adult working online, these issues may not seem such a big deal, but there is a risk in everything you do and as long as you are aware of the consequences. Or as the saying goes … fill your boots.
BUT, and yes there is a but...
There are those people who for many reasons cannot have their names or faces online, and it is to these people that I am concerned for
I read an interesting statement some time ago and I wish I could remember the person’s name but it went something like this:
”…in particular, the person, the individual, who values his/her freedom to reserve certain aspects of his/her life (and identity) to be known only to his/herself, or a very few selected others. That is, individuals need the security of the freedom to choose; they need the freedom to be private.”
When I read this, I went … this is what it is all about. This is what people like Blog Bloke and others are saying.
We live in a world where such words as “privacy” and “security‘ are mere platitudes without meaning; we have become desensitized to these concepts to such a degree that we do not think about things such as names or profiles with the same meaning as we teach our children.
It is not enough for Google+ to be aware of privacy issues AFTER you want to leave, but the need for privacy issues needs to be respected when you want to join Google+.
This is not about branding or business, this is about respecting the freedom to choose the right to be private and still have something to offer people in a community in a meaningful way.
To many, Google IS the NET and as such they have a responsibility, especially if they are getting into the social arena, to understand the very concepts that are being taught to children every single day.
If they cannot understand this, then the people at Google need to go back to school!
While many people remember the lines (Spock’s logic) “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one” I firmly believe that for any social network to really work, the needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many to truly become successful.
Class dismissed - any Questions?
..edited by Blog Bloke