Thursday, March 1, 2012

Is the Social Media push going too far?

I find it both highly amusing and very sad that with identity theft continually on the rise as well the proof that no matter how secure these web based companies propose to be they still keep pushing "Give us your information".

With the recent changes to Google and their attempts to push everyone to use Google+ (Google's alternative to Facebook) one wonders if they've hit critical mass and all the college degrees are not now collectively bringing down the companies IQ. The aforementioned Facebook for quite a while now quit requiring people to use their real names, phone numbers, and other bits of information that they have had stolen in the past. It isn't a joke. It may not be the end of the world, but the last thing anyone should be doing is putting all their information into one basket.

It becomes even more annoying to hear some of the new things coming out with more ways to push your social media and more ways to reveal both your information and the information of those you know. Windows 8 (because when a person thinks of safety and protection they think windows) is giving you all new ways to share your personal information with both friend (and potentially foe) because it simply isn't easy enough.

I hate to sound like a doom bringer, post apocalyptic survivalist, or the guy at the corner that tells you "The world is ending!" because it isn't. However you can't tell people to put all their information into your database, use their real name, give you all of their contacts phone numbers, and make them believe if they change their passwords every month using the password you rate as strong they are protected. Then watch as database after database is compromised and personal information is stolen. At what point is it then beyond negligence and into a criminal action when these companies do loose people's information? It is one thing to allow people to add their information as it is their choice to enter that information and then should be for the most part on them. Attempting to force people into it because you have a service, product, or suite of products that are so pervasive that most people are loosing any alternatives should mean that they must be required to meet a higher standard or be held more accountable than just a civil suit in which they can pay people off.

Allow people to be as responsible as they choose don't force irresponsible behavior on them. Quit crossing these lines of telling people how to be secure and then push people into options that are not the most safety oriented ideas. Allow people that wish to protect their identity by that very anonymity that the internet provides people. If your luck is anything like mine that ability is important, because you are just as likely one of those people that has gotten some of their information stolen.

I should say I'm wholly against these lawsuits that win in court that amount to "I was stupid so you should pay for it", but that is a discussion for another time. I'm also more against putting your information on the web after having it sold by shady practices that skirt the law by a technicality or change the way they handle your information so that it is suddenly public. (Thank you Classmates and LinkedIn.)

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