January 13, 2011 Michael Bickerton
Internet Privacy you really think it exists? In case you were wondering, privacy is a non-issue in the world of social media, online advertising and texting. Everything online is trackable and traceable. That being said, privacy is the cost in this “free” online world.
The good news? There is some privacy just based on the sheer mass of online, social media and smartphone traffic. However, if anyone, any firm wants to find you, and you are a user of Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and Smartphone communication you are trackable and traceable.
I came across an article via The New York Times in September that noted that US Federal law enforcement and national security types are preparing to seek a new set of regulations and guidelines due to the fact that the main method of communication is changing from the telephone to online communication. The argument is that they (law types) are out of the loop and missing information formerly provided via telephone wiretap legislation.
Law enforcement is seeking the ability to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages from ALL services that enable communication. That list would include Blackberry and Smartphones, email, social networking sites and messaging systems like Skype.
There is a huge gap between protecting individual privacy and ensuring that national security and public safety needs are met. Interestingly, law enforcement is focusing on “lawfully authorized intercepts”, yet we all know that there are breaches; some reported and some not reported.
As your digital agency, we recommend that you’re ALWAYS aware that your privacy is at risk online. Going forward as mobile and location-based services are broadened and enhanced, you can be sure that if there is a reason, law enforcement will know exactly what you are saying, to whom you are saying it, when you are saying it and from where you are saying it from.
Unfortunately, privacy is the price of admission on this ride.
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, January 2011