Hello, my name is Christopher Roberts. I am a trustworthy individual. I kindly request you to go to my websites contact page and send me a message which includes: your full name; your date of birth; a list of your best friends; your holiday snaps from last summer; your mobile number; what TV programs you like; where you work; and what you were doing on Tuesday morning.
Silly request, as nobody will do it (at least I hope they won’t) as I am asking for extremely sensitive, private information.
Let me put a different hat on.
Paul Bulcke here, chief exec of Nestlé. Same request as above, please send me your DOB, New Years party snaps, home address, a list of your favourite films etc.
Again, you probably wouldn’t do this, but stick with me, I am going somewhere…
Hi there, my name is Mark Zuckerberg and I am the founder of Facebook. What about now, what are you going to tell this massive multinational company? Everything?
Yes you can set your profile to private, but what does the company Facebook know about you? Pretty much everything – this obviously depends on what you tell it. Mobile phone numbers, holiday snaps, what you ate for dinner yesterday etc. are common things for people to tell Facebook and similar social networking sites, would you not agree?
This sort of data is used in targeting adverts on such sites, so that you are more likely to pay attention to them – is that not an exploitation of your rights?
Have you ever really though about what information you put into Facebook? Yes there are probably laws in most countries to stop Facebook disclosing any of your information, but what if it gets hacked? It’s happened before. Last Wednesdays breakfast may not be that useful, but your name, address and phone number could be very useful to help track you down or set up a bank account in your name.
Who says Facebook has to be hacked, if a rouge employee decides to steel half a million peoples emails, what can you do?
I urge you to seriously contemplate what you tell the internet, as you never know it may one day come back to haunt you.
So what do you think, am I extremely sceptical of social media, or do you believe that we give the internet far too much personal data?