Every Move You Make: Maintaining Privacy in a Digital World

Every Move You Make: Maintaining Privacy in a Digital World

The Man. Big Brother. The eye in the sky. Whatever you call it, it’s watching you. (Cue The Police — the band, that is.)

We’ve touched on the issue of privacy in a digital world before, but it’s worth revisiting as technology continues to improve. The issue comes from balancing convenience and maintaining any privacy whatsoever. Where’s the line in the (digital) sand? When will we know when it has been crossed?

“It straddles the line of creepy and cool.”  –Jeff Bakalar, CNET Senior Editor

As CBS News reported, the new Google timeline tracks — and archives — every move you make. Before you completely freak out, note that your timeline is visible only to you, and the search giant does allow you to opt out of being tracked. Of course, that may hinder any location-based services you utilize, such as Google Maps.

Understand that this isn’t a Google issue, or a Facebook issue; it’s a human issue. Do we jump all in to utilize the conveniences that technology offers? Do we maintain any privacy at all? Does it matter anymore?

Sure, you can opt out of the Internet entirely, but that’s getting harder and harder to do. According to a Pew Research study released last week, 15% of American adults don’t use the Internet at all. While that’s a substantial drop from a 2000 study (48%), it’s still shocking to most of us. How do they manage? What do they do for a living?

“In our ever-more wired world, connectivity is crucial for access to jobs, government services, health care, and information—as well as for the education and skills training of younger Americans.”  –Julia Greenberg, WIRED staff writer

So the question is where’s your line? Do you have one? Have you thought about it?

There’s no right or wrong answer here. It’s a personal decision like what you wear or the music you listen to.

Let’s discuss; weigh in with your opinion. Where’s your line?

p.s. If you’re now humming “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, here you go. Enjoy!

An old school soul living in a digital world,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on technology, privacy or otherwise):
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Pinterest logo LinkedIn logo

Facebook Graph Search: A Case Study

Yesterday Facebook removed me from the waiting list and added Graph Search to my profile. I attended the press conference launch (via live blogging) and have certainly heard the hype, so I was anxious to try this new tool.

Recently, I’ve become interested in oils in order to make more natural versions of beauty and cleaning supplies. I began typing in oils, and results began filling in below the search box. I love the auto complete feature as it lets you modify your search term in real time to receive better results.

Facebook Graph Search

Initial results included a blog, book, website and holistic beauty supply store in MN. The only initial search result that didn’t apply was Oils Moto Club, which was labeled Automobile and Parts so I knew it wasn’t worth clicking on (if the name didn’t give it away to begin with).

Upon pulling up the Herbs & Oils World Facebook page, I had multiple options to locate more information on it.

Facebook Graph Search

I discovered that I had one friend who liked the page and pulled up several non-friends who did as well. I noticed that some were in my area although I’m not sure what criteria are given the most weight here.

The point is that you can easily gather personal feedback on your search results, which differentiates Facebook Graph from web search engines.

Naturally, privacy concerns arise. Do you want the world to be able to find you in Graph Search? Or even be able to see that you like or engage with specific pages? Facebook has made great strides in simplifying its privacy settings, but some still find them cumbersome and/or confusing. If you’re not sure, check out Graph Search Privacy to better understand what people can find out about you with this new tool.

Feedback

I’m excited about the possibilities of Facebook Graph Search for everyday living as well as for my company. There appear to be some intriguing possibilities for landing new clients, locating new resources and connecting with like-minded individuals.

As always, privacy is a concern, so you need to review your settings. Take a few minutes to understand what others can see when they search for you on Graph Search (and online in general).

This shouldn’t stop you from jumping in and utilizing this new tool though. One of the biggest benefits of technology is connecting people and resources, and I see Facebook Graph Search moving this cause forward.

What about you? Have you used Graph Search yet? What are your thoughts and/or experiences?

Are you confused? Drop me a line and I’d be happy to help you out. Below I’ve listed some additional resources on the subject as well.

Happy searching!
Jaime

Join the conversation: 
Facebook logo  Google+ branding  Twitter bird icon  Pinterest logo  LinkedIn logo

Online Marketing & Your Privacy: Can They Coexist?

As a marketing professional, I find myself in a conundrum. I completely understand companies wanting to gather information about me in order to present a more personalized experience. Targeted ads, relevant special offers, personalized product suggestions.

Online information tracking creates security concerns

But it’s scary. We live in a digital world, and identity theft and fraud are on the rise. If we don’t have our identity, what do we have? I’ve heard horror stories of people having their identities stolen and fighting for years to get it back, clean up their credit report, etc..

Recently, I read an informative article from Lifehacker about protecting your information online. It really made me think, and I proceeded to install some security plug-ins for my browser and strengthen my security settings. However, I soon ran into issues.

Sites that I commonly use (and trust), such as clients, vendors and mainstream services, were rendered ineffective. I’ve already run into multiple instances where I couldn’t even log in to these sites without enabling cookies. Also, these plug-ins seem to be really slowing down my browsing experience. So what to do? What do you do?

I did check out Lifehacker’s “The Best Replacements for Privacy-Invading Services,” along with other suggestions for bypassing some of these companies and services. But do I really want to forego Gmail and Facebook entirely? I can’t imagine removing my Facebook company page in lieu of a presence on Glassboard. Would you? Have you?

As noted, I can definitely see both points of view as a marketer and consumer. I enjoy the personalized experience and convenience that information tracking allows. However, I’m at a crossroads right now. Security or convenience & personalization? Can these two sides ever coexist?

I would love to hear your suggestions and experiences on how you live in our digital world while maintaining your privacy. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Stay safe,
Jaime

Image credit: cedro via Flickr