I grew up learning about how governments rounded up people and killed them in Germany, about how the CIA collected information about citizens, reading Orwell's 1984. I learned that the little person has little ability to protect themselves if government or big business wanted something, almost anything, that the little person had.
Now, many people don't seem to care that even minute details about their lives is a product that can be bought and sold to governments, businesses, and any organizations that want it. It doesn't seem to matter - "Facebook is fun". Most people seem to think it doesn't matter, who knows what about them.
People and companies, who do not respect individual privacy or rights, are always trying to get the upper hand. I know that Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are unlikely to be the next president - but for every one of them, there are many who are behind the scenes, and many more subtle and less clown-like people who could do great harm with this information, that most people seem to willingly be giving away for collection, compilation, and sale.
I quit facebook a few months ago. As someone who has already been subjected to discrimination and harassment, I decided that the less information that I make freely available, to everyone who can do whatever they please with it, the better. I know I can't lock the barn door after the horses were stolen. but I can slow the flow of information that goes to all who want it. It's not just big government and marketers who want that information - it's your boss or supervisor, your client, your relative, your ex-spouse, your parent. That asshole who wants to one-up you at work and make your work-life miserable. That person who is competing with you for a promotion.
I googled on my name and was interested at the number of hits, and what they indicated. I have made a few changes since then to make my name less public. With face recognition software becoming more available, there may come a time to make other changes too, but I have not done that yet. The fact is, I need my job. I don't want intrusive people bothering me any more in other places, than they already do. Once you edit your name out of websites, gradually some internet information dissipates from public view, although it is archived for those with the resources and desire to collect it.
A number of Nexus members have gone from having their names open on Nexus, to taking a screen name. I did that early on. Some day, when I retire, I want to be more open. It's not just being atheist - on here I am open with my views and experiences on many topics. A screen name gives me that freedom of expression. I know it is potentially available, but at least there is some freedom here. I could not do that now on Facebook,
I'm sure that most people do not consider privacy important, otherwise Facebook would not be worth billions of dollars - how much of that money from corporations and governments that collect information on facebook users?
Does it matter?
So glad I'm not on Facebook.
Not a million results - just 2,610 on your google search. That's if you have quotes around your name so that the first and last name are connected.
It depends on your position in life, whether it matters what opinions that whatever people have of you, and in what ways you are vulnerable. Identity theft and hacking are also issues. The volume of spam that you are willing to deal with, and junk mail. You can't protect yourself from all data collection. Insurance companies probably have it anyway. The only way to be a public figure is to allow it.
Without going into detail (and I wont), having experienced workplace and personal harassment and discrimination, I struggle with how open I can be, while still trying to participate in an active online life such as here. It's probably a losing battle, but facebook and using my full name (of which there is one, maybe 2, other people in the USA) in profiles would make it more difficult.
That is the big question - does privacy matter. I think it does, but not clear on how much, and where, and how to control information. With Facebook, our personal information is their product, they continuously juggle their privacy rules, and they explicitly state in their TOS that you have no rights to your personal information. And they state that their information collection is not limited to what you do on facebook. Big Brother is a little blue rectangle.
Im glad your search was reassuring!
This is a bit of an eye opener!
I recently discovered my 12 y.o daughter had secretly opened a FB page. We where more concerned with the fact it had none of the "privacy" settings enabled and that there was dozens of people as friends she couldnt say where or how she knew them.
I think I will show her both of those youtube videos to try and get to understand why we are so upset.
It also brings to mind a quote i heard recently "If your on the internet and you are not being charged for a product, you ARE the product".. sorry cant attribute that as I cant remember source.
MB your last sentence hits the nail on the head! Although, I think Nexus does respect privacy, and the product is the advertising and contributions.
I used to think that it was the only thing I truly possessed, but I finally realised that it also didn't exist.
"If your on the internet and you are not being charged for a product, you ARE the product"
I see on my yahoo account in a little corner, advertisements that correlate to google searches I have been googling.
Our government, and its agencies also spy on us.
And we spy on ourselves. How many times have we googled our family and friends?
But conversely I feel a kind of freedom because of this. Because so many people know everything I do, it doesn't really matter what I do, because, as long as I don't do anything illegal, nobody is going to do anything about anything I do anyway. My problem now is to find out what purposeful thing I can do with the rest of this life.