The concept of “Privacy in the Digital Media Age” is abruptly drawing to a close. Few people actually believe that information cannot be readily ascertained about almost any person on the face of the earth. Only those who dwell below ground in the sense of really flying below the radar and the aerial surveillance network have the remote possibility of having a private identity. Just because there are windows open into people’s lives doesn’t mean government officials should use the technology to peek!
Anyone with either a job, tracked through a social security number, a bank account or a credit card can be monitored in any number of ways with software that is generally available to the average citizen. Average citizens can go online utilizing paid services and find lots of public information. But this is the easy part. Let’s look at your really personal life daily tracking.
If you’re at the office running your mouth on Facebook and IM (Instant Messaging) about sensitive internal information and get fired for it, it’s your fault. You’re unlikely to get fired for bitching about your ex-spouse to a friend in an IM from your work PC, but don’t be surprised to know that your conversations are being monitored and recorded in an effort to crack down on the former. The right to privacy is a shrinking concept in the real world! Too many people find ways to look over your shoulder. And members of government agencies tend to utilize toys (off the books as well as on) to peek into the lives of those who they feel have gotten too close to the truth about the snooping activities.
It’s not funny and it’s not legal, but they will continue to do this until someone call their hand and catches them red handed with the goods. Some of the toys that they have are labeled “For Official Government Use ONLY,” but this doesn’t stop them from filtering what is “Official,” to include many issues that should not be included. The tables will turn, and it’s just a matter of time.
For an interesting take on this see Your privacy is a sci-fi fantasy or why 89% of job recruiters use social media as a screening tool.