In the current age of tech culture, few topics are more of a hot button than privacy and, specifically, what happens when you lose it. With growing evidence (both as camouflaged subterfuge and out in the open), tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple may prove the maxim that if you don’t pay for your social media service, you are the product.
Lifehacker has a clever and interesting article about what happens if we just plain don’t defend our privacy from a user standpoint. In other words, what if common sense with regard to your personal details went out the window? They took a look at Foursquare, Forecast, Banjo and Spotify as well as setting location/permissions/notifications for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It’s pretty much the digital version of rubbing dog food all over your naked body and standing in a kennel. The main concern, predictably, is more about the sheer amount of advertising you’ll be subjected to if your details are available for the taking.
I did not actually click on any ads and purchase anything, but ads did remind me of things that existed that I wanted. For instance, while shopping to replace a bunch of furniture in my living room, I was hitting up all kinds of furniture websites and looking at a wide variety of different new stuff. When all was said and done, I was happy with the results, but something was missing. Then, like a message sent from heaven, Facebook ads started telling me about rugs. I didn’t buy any of the rugs advertised, but I did eventually buy one from elsewhere.
Interestingly absent were the tales about how, if you let your location slip via Foursquare, burglars would be lined up around the block to rob your house while you’re away. Maybe burglars aren’t interested in his new rug?