Years ago, ENERGY was this country's biggest asset. Digital DATA now owns that title.
What to do with many data centers filled with exabytes of personal data using today's 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.
What you do in your physical life qualifies you for jobs or access to the finest educational institutions, but your digital life also paints a picture.
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 about the personal data collection business
Social media and internet websites offer all kinds of free services. Now most of us understand that operating data centers cost money, and all the free services monetize you in several ways. The essential product is your publicized information.
Once too much information is shared, and you wish to remove pieces of information, you run into significant obstacles designed to forbid your data from becoming just yours anymore.
There are over 300 personal search sites on the internet. Six key players own 90% of those. There are opt-out processes for each of these 300 sites, and I list instructions below on how to approach this.
The critical 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 this online database of personal information. The first layer is all the companies that sell your products and services, like cell phones. If you, like most people, want to study only some of the terms and conditions for replacing your iPhone with a newer model or visit 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 aggregator's job is to combine data from sources a,b, and c, "loosely" match your data from each source, and create a more extensive database of your information. Aggregated data gets fed to upstream companies to refresh their data warehouse daily.
A crucial reason is that when you opt out of one of these people's search sites, your data comes right back into the data warehouses overnight, and you accomplished nothing but an exercise in blood pressure fluctuating consumerism.
How can you effectively 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 blocked request tells a personal Public data collector to flip a switch on your name in the supermassive data warehouse, not to 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 sounds complicated, you can consult IT Providers focusing 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.
Privacy Sensitive Clients can be High Wealth Individuals and family members, Lotto winners, Celebrities, CEOs, victims of abuse, job applicants, and younger individuals applying to premier institutions of higher learning. You get the idea; good law-abiding citizens all around you suffer from all the new data collection techniques.
Are FaceBook and Google in the crosshairs of the government? Yes, but how long does it take the government to enact proper protections? How long will the general public care enough to create a substantiative movement toward privacy in the U.S.?