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What, Me Worry?
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Published Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 9:07 AM EDT
Apr 25 2018

You already have zero privacy- get over it.
-Scott McNealy

I'm probably an outlier here, but I can't get too worked up over the Facebook/Cambridge Analytics data privacy business.

Perhaps it comes from 30+ years of working with computers, but when I log onto a social media site, I really don't expect much in the way of privacy. That's why I don't put anything on Facebook that I don't want people (or companies) to know.

I also realize that by visiting these social media sites, my personal data is going to be monetized by the site. Remember the saying: "If you're not paying for the product, you are the product." (Some disagree.)

Some people are creeped out by the ads they see, which often include stuff they've viewed on other sites. Doesn't bother me... in fact, it's useful. I often go to a site to buy something, get interrupted or distracted, and forget about it. The ad jogs my memory and saves me the time of having to manually go back to the site. Often, the ad will be from a different seller who has a lower price.

I guess it can be reduced to one's sense of self-importance. Frankly, I don't think there's much about me on social media that's so secret or valuable that it must be protected. On commerce sites, I use strong passwords and two-step verification. On Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, I really don't care that much. To those who feel otherwise, I quote Fran Lebowitz: "Your life story would not make a good book. Don't even try."

Anyway, the real threat isn't Facebook, it's our own government. In the days after 9/11, the government started scanning everything. Everything. The Post Office has a photo of every piece of first class mail it handles. The NSA sees just about everything that travels across the net. Even science fiction couldn't keep up with reality:

And let's be honest... if the government really has some reason to single you out of the 324 million people in the United States, they would have no problem -especially under the present administration- fabricating incriminating information or, for that matter, just making you disappear. Donald Trump frightens me. Mark Zuckerberg, not so much.

Here's what I find disturbing:

A Google search for "Kevin G. Barkes" returns about 14,600 hits. I've been online since the late 1980s so, if anything, I'm somewhat under-referenced. A bit more vexing is what appears when you do an image search of me (see above). In case you're wondering, the photos appear to come from this website, and include L. Ron Hubbard, me, Joseph P. Kennedy, Immanuel Kant, Gary Busey, me, Bill Moyers, Grace Lee Boggs, and Michael Eisner. Since text containing "Kevin G. Barkes" appears on every page of this site, Google apparently grabs everything and files it under my name.

Fortunately, I have not been misidentified as Gary Busey.

Yet.


Categories: Facebook, Fran Lebowitz, Linked In, NSA, Peggy Noonan, Person of Interest, PRISM, The Daily KGB Report, The Machine, Twitter


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