Years ago ENERGY was this country's biggest asset. Digital DATA now owns that title.
What can be done with so many data centers filled with exabytes of personal data using todays computing power and software expertise?
As these new "products" roll out to market they have become impossible to ignore. People used to say "I don’t care if they collect my data, I don’t have anything to hide"
The issue is, now you have a "digital life" in addition to your physical life. The reputation of your digital life has been increasing in value and in some cases decreasing in value very rapidly.
It's not what you do in the physical life that gets you jobs or access to the finest educational institutions, its your digital life that has been evaluated first.
So, those of us that consider ourselves good citizens don’t have anything to hide but we do have much more to manage to ensure a good life for ourselves and our families.
Little known facts of the personal data collection business
Social media and internet websites offer all kinds of free services. Now most of us understand that operating datacenters cost money and all the free services are monetized in several ways. The key product being your publicized information.
Once there is too much information shared and you wish to remove pieces of information you run into major obstacles designed to forbid your data from becoming just your data anymore.
There are over 300 personal search sites on the internet. 90% of those are owned by 6 key players. There are opt-out processes for each of these 300 sites and I list instructions below on how to approach this.
The key thing to remember is these providers are storing legal "Public information" so they are not breaking any laws by displaying all this objectional information about you.
There are several layers to these online database of personal information. The first layer are all the companies that sell your products and services like cell phones for example. If your like most people you don’t want to study all the terms and conditions for replacing your iphone with a newer model or visiting a website to create a new account. Unfortunately almost all of these situations involve your approving of them collecting data and being free and legally clear to "share" this data with 3rd party providers.
Now that everyone at layer 1 has permission to collect your data and "share" (sell/monetize) this data it gets purchased by many data "aggregators".
An aggregators job is to combine data from source a,b and c and "loosely" match your data from each source and create a larger database of your information. Aggregated data gets fed to upstream companies to refresh their data warehouse daily.
This is a key reason that when you opt-out of one of these people search sites, your data comes right back in the data warehouses overnight and you accomplished nothing but an exercise in blood pressure fluctuating consumerism.
What can you effectively do to slow down this daily aggregation of your personal data collection?
Asking for a "block" on your data does not work, and I will explain why. A block request tells a personal Public data collector to flip a switch on your name in the supermassive data warehouse to not update nightly. So when new information arrives tomorrow from people search site # 301
It will not re-populate your name after your opt-out requests.
If this is starting to sound complicated you can always consult with IT Providers that focus on Privacy and Security and ask for guidance.
I will share what I know about protecting your privacy as we have done for our Privacy Sensitive clients for years now.
Privacy Sensitive Clients can be High Wealth Individuals and family members, Lotto winners, Celebrities, CEO's, victims of abuse, job applicants and younger individuals applying to exclusive institutions of higher learning. You get the idea, there are good law abiding citizens all around you that suffer from all the new data collection techniques.
Is FaceBook and Google in the crosshairs of the government? Well yes, but how long does it take the government to enact proper protections? How long will it take for the general public to care enough to create a substantiative movement towards privacy in the U.S?