Tuesday, September 14, 2010
There was a tweet about GOOGLE:
"@msnbc_tech Creepy Google stalker proves your online privacy is an illusion http://bit.ly/bzkImU "
But it's not just Google (and Facebook). It's not just "online".
Everyone should be aware that every business you deal with -- your bank, your credit card company, your movie company, your book company, your college, etc. -- They all keep records (and they did before the Internet was invented).
Many employees from the company have access to data about you which tells a lot about you. They use it properly when they field a customer service call. They may use it semi-un-properly when they notice something about you, while doing, for example, a customer service call, or IT testing on new computer software: they may have proper access to it for proper reasons, but use it improperly after they have had access. They may access it improperly simply because they can.
"Many employees" includes loyal employees, disloyal employees, transient consultants, and foreign workers doing outsourced projects.
It did not start with the Internet. Before electronic privacy abuses, for example, many organizations handled social security data improperly on printed records.
Now, many people are storing confidential records in online data bases, private photos in online phone banks, secret messages in e-mails (all of which are archived somewhere someplace). There is no way for any individual to prevent someone at some time from gaining access to these data stores, and finding something that was done or said and archived there. Electronics leaves a persistent trail.
It is safe to assume that any information stored online, and any transaction (business or social) conducted over the Internet, or conducted with someone that keeps any records at all, is retrievable.