You are ONLINE – Forget about PRIVACY

In Communication, Griot, Networking, News, Politics, Technology on August 2, 2012 at 7:36 am

Do you Facebook?

Remember that old MJ jam, “I always feel like somebody’s watching me“? Well, if you’re online, the chances are highly likely that someone is watching you. Even if its just the cookie snatchers. Cookies are all that are needed to identify you and your habits, where you shop, what you eat, what kind of illnesses you’ve been battling, (because you researched symptoms & remedies online), your fashion tastes are known, as well as your fondness for HIGH TIMES Magazine. YES. Ye ol’ PRIVACY as you knew it back in the ’80’s [and before] is virtually inexistent.

Recently I was reading one of Kevin Chappell’s RADAR reports on The Fight To Guard Your Privacy Online and thought this would be the perfect topic to share with you. I know you wonder about it [your privacy], especially now that you have Facebook. Right? Well it just means your intuition is awake. So read on and check out what Kevin has to say about it. He offers great tips on how to TAKE ACTION with Search Engines and GPS tracking, (you know, that little “location” feature that often shares your geographical position in the world, when you post a comment or something). Ha! What privacy.


The more ou do online, the more information you leave behind. And nowadays, since most Americans do quite a bit on the Internet – from social networking and e-mailing to booking flights and banking – we’re all leaving digital footprints tha allow our most personal information to be accessed by strangers.

“Our privacy laws have not kept up as technology has changed the way we hold information.”

That’s why a coalition of privacy advocates and businesses is urging Congress to update electronic privacy laws, many of which were written before the Internet even existed. The movement is called dotRights, a catchy term that speaks to developing a clear national standard for protecting an individual’s personal electronic information.

“The Founding Fathers recognized that citizens in a democracy need privacy for their ‘persons, papers and effects’,” the ACLU said in a statement given to a Judiciary subcommittee. “That remains as true as ever. But our privacy laws have not kept up as technology has changed the way we hold information.” While opponents of more stringent privacy laws cite access to electronic information as a way to guard against national security threats, privacy advocates say we should limit the government’s power to tap into civilian lives. Following 9/11, unprecedented power was given to the federal government when the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), signed into law in 1986, was weakened by provisions in the Patriot Act (which grants the government a nearly limitless right to examine your affairs if it feels you might threaten national security.)

The Obama administration recently proposed the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights which provides extra protection on top of the current ECPA laws. If enacted, the privacy bill of rights would give Internet users the right, among other things, to control what data is collected, and how it is used and shared. Studies have shown that African-Americans tend to be more concerned about Internet privacy issues than Whites.


Search Engines

[THE ISSUE]: Most engines record your searches, keeping record on you and your searches for months, or even years. They use this information to create a profile about you. While they say the profile is used mainly to customize your search experience and provide you with relevant advertising, some sell the info to companies and give it to the government. In 2009, Google released data after having received more than 3,500 requests from law enforcement.

[THE ACTION]: Put pressure on the search engines to institute policies and legislators to pass laws — including The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights –that allow users to use search engines without compromising personal information.


GPS Tracking

[THE ISSUE]: The prevalence of mobile phones with GPS technology means every Ameican is, in essence carrying a portable tracking device that can be used to reveal his or her current and past locations. The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act was introduced in the House and Senate to protect location privacy. The bill requires law enforcement to get a warrant based on a probate cause before accessing location information, and also regulates the use of this information by businesses.

[THE ACTION]: With location-tracking cases increasing, the legislation would provide a clear national standard for law enforcement. At present, the bill is stalled in Congress. Supporters of the legislation should write their congressperson and encourage passage.

Kevin Chappell is a literal reporter for EBONY magazine,
and between search engines and social sites – your identity has been seen.

Privacy doesn’t exist, and can unmask you at anytime.
I’m Qui
and I’ve embraced bigger brothers power online.
He’s nosey.

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