The dark side of transparency
Transparency is something good. You want to know what happens in the world and want to be informed about your salary. But sometimes, transparency can be bad. Not only that other people know things about yourself you don’t want them to know, but as well you lose control. And without control, you lose even more.
The internet was created as a global free network, where everyone has the same rights and can do what he wants. This internet doesn’t exist anymore. We share more than ever before (30 billion pieces on Facebook each month) and with more people than ever before (the average Facebook user has 130 friends). That is massive. And all this data isn’t your data anymore. Facebook can use your photos in any other way without paying or informing you.
So. Let’s go into some basic internet theory. IP stands for “Internet Protocol” and is something like the home address of your computer. You can find out your IP here: http://ipaddress.com/.
If you followed the link, you will see that it’s possible to get a rough location, time and some other stuff by only knowing your IP. Facebook saves this data and can create a pretty detailed report about you. They get a movement profile, see which websites you are browsing and know where you live, even if you have no Facebook Account.
At the moment, Facebook does not publish this information. They don’t make it transparent. But they can. And most web users don’t know anything about that (you do now).
Maybe (actually, I hope so) you now want to take action. You want to get your privacy back. Thankfully, there are some great tools out there which give you back your data. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
The Virtual Private Network (VPN) streams your data through tunnels into other countries and let you hide your IP. There are many different options around, some payed, some free. I would suggest openvpn.net.
Transparency at the right point is something good. But at false places, too much transparency can hurt. Share your ideas/privacy tools in the comment section. Never stop fighting!