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Why releasing information about yourself on the web is all about protecting your privacy

In this months Wired there is an article about Hasan Elahi, he uses his website trackingtransience.net to document what is he doing at any given moment of the day. And he has a reason for doing this, his name ended mistakenly on a FBI terrorist suspect list. He decided the only way out of this is by giving up all the privacy he has by creating a continuous alibi.

The rise of blogs and social networks redefines online privacy. New applications that focus on streaming your life like Twitter and Kyte TV are opening up more and more information about a character.

A character (identity) can be fictional or not. It doesn’t matter. The combined information of one person across many different platforms generate a – often public – profile.

Young generations think different about privacy. Parents try to warn them about all the hazards of exposing too much information, but they often don’t care.

Is a big brother controlled by yourself still a big brother?

Isn’t claiming your identity by expressing it in the real or virtual world the best way to protect your identity?

The power of identity is checking. We check identities all the time, when you go to a bank, the first day at your new job, when you travel abroad. We don’t care about the identity itself, we care about the records connected to an identity. Online identity isn’t anything different. If your identity is public and everyone can check it or contact you your identity is probably better protected than the identity of a John Doe. If you’re not visible on the web I can act in your name and nobody will ever know about it.

You think your parents are always wrong when you are young, somehow the were right most of the times when you look at it a few years later. Maybe on this topic the parents are wrong, you should create your identity online! Creating an online identity is the only way to protect it. Parents should still warn about the fact that you will build up a record (google) that will be connected to this identity.

To quote Adam Curry: There are no secrets, only information you don’t yet have.

2 replies on “Why releasing information about yourself on the web is all about protecting your privacy”

Thanks, somehow it just started to make sense to me.

One of the top queries that brings people to this blog is “Wilbert Baan“. I’d rather have the people looking for me ending up here instead of somewhere else.

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