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Steve Bruno

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Should we be concerned with companies owning our data?

As far as I know, google was one of the first to pioneer the business model of providing an online service free of charge in order for them to harvest user data. Now I'm sure some of you are thinking "if people are willing to give up their information, it serves them right". I believe the average person has no idea what happens behind the scenes with large online services. For that matter most politicians don't fully understand it. Now, I am not saying that google, apple, twitter, or facebook have a master plan to turn people into sheep in order control them for their own financial gain, but the truth is that the temptation is growing as we willingly give them larger windows into our lives.

This centralized data world we are moving into needs to have some serious accountability, and safegards put in place. People need to be educated on not only with where we are now, but also in how we are being led to share more and more of our lives online, and where this could lead us as humanity.

If anyone has any insights on what measures may be in place to protect people that I am not aware of, please let me know. The advantages of having centralized data is incredible, and this was a natural progression of technology which is here to stay, but I do have my concerns.

RELATED NEWS

Banks sell consumers' shopping data to retailers:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/06/pf/banks_sell_shopping_data/index.htm?source=cnn_bin&hpt=hp_bn3

Mobile Privacy bill:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/15/technology/mobile_privacy_bill/index.htm?source=cnn_bin&hpt=hp_bn3

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    Jun 13 2011: We should be concerned about our personal information not when we've already spread it out, but when we are about to share it. Problem is not in those companies owning our personal information, but in us. It's for us to decide whether we are ready to give some peculiar information of our personality. If you are not sure of someone to provide you with reasonable security, just drop it out and you'll get rid of the headache. We just need reason.
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      Jun 17 2011: Perhaps we are careful when we give out personal information but I don't have a very good memory - I can't say for certain if the little bits of information I commit to the larger digital memory don't get glued back together to form a weird picture - all the warp with very little weft.
    • Jun 27 2011: Considering that anyone with a bit more than basic computer skills could extract all information from your computer, history etc etc etc in a matter of perhaps thirty minutes, I'm inclined to assume that certain individuals/companies may already know more about you/us than we think. Thus, it's completely irrelevant how much information you give out or don't. Sounds a bit crack pot-ish, but it's quite realistic.

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