Real Things to be Scared Of (instead of Terrorists…)

Maybe it was reading Little Brother (yes, go buy the book now) or just something in the air but scary stories about the slow creeping loss of anything resembling privacy in the name of advertising or safety seems to be overwhelming.

Here are some examples…

According tothe NYT:

“Now, some entrepreneurs…are equipping billboards with tiny cameras that gather details about passers-by — their gender, approximate age and how long they looked at the billboard. These details are transmitted to a central database.”

The company behind this, um, service, claims no recordings of actual images are made and all raw data is stored in their database annonymously.  Of course, nothing is stopping them from changing this policy at anytime.  Scared yet?

How about this…

According to BoingBoing:

“Two nurseries in Kent, England are fingerprinting parents as they drop off and pick up kids “for safety.” Nevermind that statistically, your kids are far more likely to be snatched and/or abused by a parent (or someone who works at a nursery!) than by a stranger.”

Now, the UK has been ahead of the US in terms of voluntary and involuntary surveillance and one could argue the parents are giving out their prints of their own free will but it is really just another example of scare-tactics being used to collect our personal data.

Finally, PC World would like you to know:

Google is apparently allowing third-party advertisers to track consumers using the company’s ad network, a practice that raised concerns from one privacy advocate…The certification policies outline how cookies can be used on the Google network, and require that third-party ad servers cannot use cookies in connection with personal information unless the user opts in, according to Google. Consumers can also opt out of any tracking mechanism…”

Or course, there is no choice to “opt in.” If you go online you have opted in and they have no qualms about never telling you this fact.  If you dig around long enough you can probably figure out how to opt out but I wish you luck.

More to come, I’m sure…

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