Here's an interesting coincidence with the latest news about online privacy and how much information our government collects on its citizens. As part of my gig with Out There Monthly, I ask people I find walking, running, riding, etc., if they'd like to be featured on the OTM Facebook page
. Most people are cool with it, but a few people decline, which is fine. I completely understand. If a complete stranger with a camera hanging off his back rode up next to me on a bike and said he wanted to put me on Facebook, I would be pretty hesitant and slightly suspicious. Heck, I even had one person ask to see my ID.
I recently had one person decline and unnecessarily--and unprompted because I don't ask why--explain it was because of their job. During the explanation they gave me a generic name for their job.
Later on, I wondered what I could find out from just that bit of information. In barely ten minutes of poking around with a search engine, I found enough information with which I could probably go back and surprise that person with how much I learned.
Imagine how compete that picture would be if I knew what phone numbers that person called or called them and how long they talked. And if I captured all their emails, credit card transactions, and library checkouts. And if I knew the IP address(es) they use and what IP addresses they connect to. And if I knew the location of their cell phone. I don't have that kind of access, but in this person's case, I didn't need it.
We have very little privacy unless we live completely off the grid. So how do we protect it?