internet privacy
internet privacy

Internet privacy

internet privacy

When using the internet, if you have anything to hide - best stay anonymous !

Internet privacy ?
Do we have any privacy when we are surfing the internet ? Everytime the we surf the internet, information about us is being collected and stored. OK, some of this information is harmless and does not identify us.
People who are not too worried about privacy issues needn't concern themselves, but those who are, should know what type of information is being collected and stored.
Visiting a web site gives up our IP address to the owner of the web site who may also track you as you navigate around their web site, noting which links you clicked and which pages you read.
Know your Internet Service Provider ?
Web sites may install a cookie onto your computer so they can recognise you next time you visit their site and they may use the information previously collected about you to personalise the page content on your next visit.
What your ISP knows about your internet surfing habits is a different matter. He holds personal information about you and matches that information to your IP address.
He may also collect information from your computer such as it's name, the mac address of the network devices that you are using and some details about your computer's operating system.
internet privacy

Internet privacy

internet privacy

Should we worry about what the data that is stored about us might be used for ?

Internet privacy
10-12-2011
Recently, we have all been asked to take part in the Government's Census and forced by Law to provide details about ourselves and our properties. Presumably, the Government has good reason for this and will be able to use the information that it collected from us in a positive way for the benefit of the Country, its Citizens and the Immigrant population.
Apart from being unable to leave our homes for most of the day which may have been inconvenient for some people, I doubt that many people objected to taking part in the Census.
As I was helping the duly appointed officer to complete the Census form, I couldn't help wondering where all this information was going to end up ? There's no doubt that the information that was completed on the Census forms will be digitised and that the data will be stored on a computer somewhere.
I wondered whether there was any justification for worrying about where the data was going to be stored, who would have access to it and most importantly, what it might be used for.
Due to the nature of the questions that were asked, I decided that I wasn't unduly worried and in any event, due to the fact that I was legally obliged to take part, I decided that there wasn't much that I could do about it anyway.
This train of thought led me to wonder how much information about us and our lives is being digitised and stored on computers and what it is being used for.
The underlying principle that has driven Facebook's success over the last seven years is that people want to share their information with each other and whilst I am not a Facebook user, I can see why it has become such a popular website.
The problem with Facebook for me personally and the reason why I don't use it, or, any of the other social web sites, is that eventually, someone will use the information that is being 'voluntarily' digitised and stored by Facebook's users, for a purpose other than that which they might have originally intended.
It's common knowledge that Facebook are now using the information that their users have voluntarily supplied to them, for the purposes of monetising the Facebook web site or, in other words, they are now profiting from the content and information that their users have freely provided to them.
Potential advertisers can use the data that has been freely provided by Facebook's users to target them with advertisements. I wonder whether Facebook users object to this ? I also wonder, how this information may be used in the future and whether this is something that Facebook users might worry about ?
This week it has been widely reported on the internet that the UK Government has signed a deal with "Experian" (a credit reference agency) and that they are going to be able to use the information in Experian's databases and cross reference it with data that is being stored on the Government's databases.
Is this a worry ? Well, not as long as we don't have anything to hide ! The UK Government's justification for doing this, is that it will enable them to detect fraud and if we are to believe their figure (nearly a billion pounds of savings between Her Majesties Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions) maybe, snooping on us is justified.
Apparently, this is nothing new. The UK Government is already cross referencing information from other data sources such as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, the Passport Office, credit card companies and mobile phone companies.
They are reporting success and pointing to several cases where cross-referencing information has led to the discovery of Benefit and several other different types of fraud.
This week's Tic Top Tip comes in the form of a simple piece of advice - if you have anything to hide, when using the internet - best stay anonymous !
internet privacy
Other related articles:
Online scams
09-07-2011
Facebook security problem
02-07-2011
Malware problem
05-03-2011
internet privacy