Out in the Open

Have you ever considered the digital footprint you leave with everything you do?

In this modern age of computers, the internet, smart phones, preferred shopper cards, red light cameras, facial mapping software, and a litany of other data collection methods, we have all of the tools at our disposal to literally catalog every physical move, intellectual thought, emotional response, vice, virtue, personal relationship, and purchase every single person makes.  While we pride ourselves on the amount of privacy our society provides, we fail to see how the very things that we rely on the most not only provide a “foot in the door,” but completely shatter our illusions of privacy.

Computer hackers can tap into your computer – they can install keyloggers and a variety of other programs to covertly monitor what you do on your computer.

Your internet connection can be monitored and the websites you visit, the emails you receive and send, and everything you do online can be monitored.

Your smart phone is susceptible to the same monitoring and provides and even more valuable tool for monitoring – integral geo-location.  If your phone has a GPS function that can be monitored to pinpoint your location (consider FourSquare for instance).    Even if your phone does not have GPS, the phone must “ping” your carrier’s network every so often to basically say “I’m here” in order for the network to route calls to you.  This “ping” can easily be pinpointed using basic trigonometry in order to provide an accurate appoximation of your location.  Beyond that, consider that phones can be remotely activated to broadcast whatever conversation you may be having even if your phone is off.

Add these cracks in your privacy fence to the bundles of information we willingly provide via Facebook, Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, and every other social media site, every grocery store card, every pharmacy card, and every other “discount” card and you should start feeling uneasy.

Every move we make can be studied, analyzed, and bundled into a profile.  This can be married with all of the data that is kept without our knowledge to build a very accurate profile of who you are, how you think, your personal politics, religion, philosophy, sexual preference and activites, even medical conditions (pharmacy card).

How certain are you of your privacy?  Do you really think you can hide?

Knowing this opens more doors though… can you use this monitoring to your advantage?



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