You Tweet – you are recorded. You post to Facebook – you are recorded. You Check-In – you are recorded. You do nothing – YOU ARE RECORDED!
What? All of your misadventures can’t possibly be recorded – WRONG. Depending on the level of technology interaction, many pieces of data are collected every day. Many of us have heard the old warnings of not posting too much information on the internet. People mine information from Twitter, Facebook, and other social platforms, not to mention all of the personal data available to someone freely on the web. People leave data tidbits everywhere. Don’t believe me. Check out a few of these awesome data gathering sites.
TrendsMap – This nifty little tool, can relay real-time trending information down to a specific location. Want to know what topics are trending in your area. Just drill down as if you would in Google Maps. News stations, broadcasters, and such can gather stories relatively quickly by watching this site. Marketers can learn what things would sell best in specific areas with this. Thought you just being watched at the grocery store with what you buy. Think Again!
Google Maps – Sure you like to use it for quick route locations, but did you know that the Great and Powerful Google of Oz was watching you even when you aren’t utilizing an app. Yes, that’s right. Google has their eye on you constantly if you are using a smart phone and have Location Services turned-on. Click on this link and login to see your history. It tracks every place you have visited, and stores the data. Hows that for Big Brother?
Immersion – Ever wondered about that metadata that the NSA says is meaningless, well guess what, it can be used to link your contacts to you. That’s right, if someone needs to know with whom you collaborate the most, it can be found easily. This tool can scan your Exchange, Gmail or Yahoo account to provide you with a quick example of what can be tapped from any email account. Keep in mind this is a simply example create by MIT, and is limited to you adding your data, however your email metadata is stored on servers throughout the world, accessible to anyone who requires access to the data.
Digital Shadow – Want to know what valuable information someone can gather simply from your Facebook Profile. Check out Digital Shadow. While it is simply a tool employed to sell a video game, you will find some of the data that can be mined frightening, such as you net worth, your family and friends, activity, etc.
Spokeo – Want to know what data is found by HR professionals when job hunting. There are tons, and it can be found relatively cheaply. Spokeo can provide information about your net worth, the ages of your household. Without any payment whatsoever, the tool can pull a google map of your house. For as little as $4.95 a month, additional information can be pulled about your social networks, salary, children, parents, spouse, etc.
“Simply terrifying”, is the most common phrase I hear from people when I show them these little tools, but it is a reality. Some of it can be fixed, and some of it is simply the nature of living in a digital society nowadays. Be careful what you put on the internet, and get yourself educated on digital privacy. Don’t provide so much information to others, and they won’t have the data to use against you.