Privacy is an illusion part 2

Papa KyKy By Papa KyKy, 29th Aug 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/d_nnsnll/
Posted in Wikinut>News>Technology

As recently witnessed by the recently hacked website Ashley Madison, and the subsequent release of what was supposed to be private records, privacy is something that companies can no longer truly provide.

Seek and you shall find

In our everyday lives, we think that our information is relatively private. But in the current information age, information is easy to come by, and can often be obtained for free.
Even if you are leading a normal life out of the spotlight, your information can easily be searched for using popular search engine search results. You can easily find one piece of information about a person, such as where they graduated high school, and link it with other pieces of information. Before you know it, you have access to where they live, family members, and if they have changed their last name. For a small fee, some websites also provide additional information, such as criminal history, work history etc.

WIndows 10 privacy concerns

Recently, there have been privacy concerns with the newly released Windows 10 operating system. In order to evolve Windows into something that is more relevant than just the browser, it must obtain information about you, and send that information back to their servers for processing. This is essentially how the built in virtual assistant Cortana works. Microsoft wants Cortana to be more than just a voice attached to your calendar, search, and emails. Microsoft wants Cortana to get to know you and display predictive behavior. Like any good personal assistant, Cortana needs to get to know you better, so she can predict your behavior. This means that the consumer will be giving Cortana specific parameters to what data she will have access to monitoring. Does anyone else think that this unparalleled access to your personal information is not asking for it to be exploited at some point? If not by Microsoft itself, then by some other outside hacker? I can foresee situations such as Cortana verbally announcing that you that have a Urologist appointment at 3pm while you are in a public setting. The question then becomes, who would be to blame for that situation? Cortana’s lack of spacial relationships with other people present? Or would it be our own lack of foresight in not telling Cortana to announce private appointments while you are in a public setting? Of course, with the built in GPS in mobile phones, the potential for abuse becomes much greater. Imagine a hacker not only having access to your address, but also access to your calendar, so they know exactly when you will not be at home.

The cost of "free" Wi-fi

Another growing trend is that companies that are allowing you to use their “free” Wi-fi, are now requiring for you to provide your name and email address. So much for private browsing. Will the companies that provide the wi-fi service then connect your records of web searches on their wi-fi to your name and email address, and exploit this for their profit? Only time will tell.

The Facebook privacy setting myth

If you think that you are safe on Facebook by using privacy settings, think again. There are several free software programs that will reveal private pictures that have been tagged by other users. It is difficult to understand how Facebook can allow this to happen, but it is just yet another example of how the privacy that you think that you have is merely an illusion.

My other technology articles

Privacy is an illusion
Corporations return to the origin, and make us pay more
A better world is possible by challenging what is possible
Papa KyKy's guide to Amazon Music Player & Amazon Prime Music
Why I am not upgrading to Windows 10 (yet)
Threat of cyberattack is the elephant in the room
Should you have Netflix and Amazon Prime Video?
My thoughts on Chromebook

Tags

Ashley Madision, Cortana, Facebook, Privacy, Wifi, Windows 10

Meet the author

author avatar Papa KyKy
I enjoy talking about videogames, technology, and different ways to save money.

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