The Age of Privacy is Over

It’s been slowly creeping up on us, but I think it’s safe to say that privacy is a thing of the past.

Whether you share willingly or unwillingly, it’s out there, and it can get pretty ugly:

A site with the terrifying name StalkScan.com…lets non-friends search your Facebook account for public posts, as well as public pictures, tags and likes. The founder says the site, which automates Facebook’s existing search function, is intended to show Facebook users posts they may not know are public.
[An unidentified woman] who received harassing phone calls told me she has made it her mission to scrub her name from the internet entirely. It isn’t going very well. She canceled her Google and Facebook accounts, but still can’t remove some info posted by others. She says several people-search sites haven’t responded to her requests. “No one will hear me,” she says.

The point is that even if you could get rid of your posts and “take back” all the information you shared with Google, Facebook, etc. you can’t rely on others to do so. The data is out there, and with new machine learning and data parsing algorithms, it’s getting easier to search and index it in order to make a more complete picture of you.

We all opted into this. We decided we’d rather not pay for the internet‘s most popular services, so they opted to make us the product. Now it’s not a stretch to think that governments, advertisers, ISPs, employers, credit bureaus, and many more people have this data.